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Posts Tagged ‘sustainability’

2 Oct 1 2010 @ 10:56am by Matt Smith in Capital Markets, Crude Oil, Economy, Global Energy, Natural Gas, risk management

Burrito Bites

The first day of October, the start of Q4, the beginning of the Ryder Cup, Julie Andrews’ 75th birthday; what more could be packed into today?! A lot more, I’ll have you know. A bunch of data has been released to kick off the new month, with ISM manufacturing data as the headlining act. Prior warm-up acts this week pointed to a strong reading today, however, a print in line with consensus has left markets looking like they are coming off a synthetic sugar high (which they kind of are). Nonetheless. the anticipatory drum-roll was enough to encourage crude to hop-scotch above $80, while natural gas has once again bounced on the trampoline that is $3.80. Let’s hit up some Autumnal appetizers:

Why sustainability practices are really risk management.

–Which US state consumes the most energy per capita?

Gorillas run wild in London.

–M&A deals soar as shale gas fever hits.

–Offshore wind could meet half of East coast’s electricity needs.

–Why energy efficiency does not decrease energy consumption.

–Awkward….wrong model announced as winner of Australia’s top model competition.

–China demographic dictate India as manufacturing hub.

–Huuuuge critique on Marcellus Shale.

–Drive-thru. On a horse.

–The US leads the world! (in obesity rates).

–World gone mad…..banning texting when driving may add risks to roads. (!?!).

–Great interactive graphic of global debt comparison.

–European natural gas trading rose 11% last year.

–The downside of reusable grocery bags.

–Cheap gas is limiting coal demand.

–Man attackes Elmo; Elmo wins. (shame).

The Burrito Deluxe Award of the week goes to crude for breaking through $80 to seven-week highs, as positive economic data prints (and drawdowns across the board for crude and product inventories) spur on hope for increasing future oil demand. Will it hold above this level? Hum-dee-dum, we shall see…

The Burnt Burrito Award is retained by the US dollar index, as it plumbs to the depth of eight-month lows. 

The Burrito Quote of the Week – not necesarily relevant in any way, but it made me chuckle this morning: – “Don’t worry about the world coming to an end today; its already tomorrow in Australia’ – Charles M. Schulz

Have a charming weekend!

0 Sep 30 2010 @ 10:25pm by Matt Smith in energy consulting, Global Energy, Random, risk management

Ten Tenuous Ryder Cup Links to Energy

US team uniform

With the Ryder Cup kicking off, here’s my attempt to link energy to the Ryder Cup in ten tenuous tidbits: 

1) Utility – both a company who provides energy, and a golf club for any occasion.
2) Green – the dance-floor aka the putting surface. Oh, and the future of energy!
3) Jigger – an old-school golf club for chip-shots, and a device by which coal is cleaned by water. 
4) El Niño – a climate pattern which has a big influence on the frequency of hurricanes, and the nickname of vice-captain Sergio Garcia. 
5) Coal – Wales, the venue for the latest Ryder Cup is most famous for rugby, sheep, and coal-mining.  

European Team Uniform

6) Ian Poulter – a livewire on the US circuit.
7) Louisville, Ky – hosts both one of the finest Ryder Cup venues and one of the finest Energy Consultants!  
8) Sustainability – 90% of materials arriving at the Ryder Cup site will be reused or recycled, and the Tented Village will be entirely powered by recycled vegetable oil
9) Power – Dustin Johnson is your man; the longest driver in this Ryder Cup.
10) Energy – though it pains a European to say this, the deciding factor of this Ryder Cup may be the terrific energy of captain Corey ‘Bulldog’ Pavin.

Whatever the result, enjoy your Ryder Cup!

1 Sep 24 2010 @ 10:55am by Matt Smith in Capital Markets, Crude Oil, Economy, Global Energy, Natural Gas

Burrito Bites

'err, I'm not sure you should be that...HOOONNNNKKKK!'

Good day, and welcome to the first Autumnal Friday of the year. We are now into the thrusts of fall, completing the last full week of the quarter before we tumble into October. This week has seen crude continuing to hang around the $75 mark (although a Friday rally is underway), while natty has stuck around the $4 level (although a Friday sell-off is underway). Equities have had a good week, the dollar a poor one, while we found out this week that ‘the great recession’ ended in June 2009. Thank goodness for that. The weekend beckons, but in the meanwhile, keep rolling with the munches:

–US natural gas is ‘the American Idol’ of energy.

–An emotional week, as Wal-mart Senior VP wells up talking about sustainability.

–While Swiss Finance Minister gets the giggles.

‘Talk like a Pirate’ day and climate change.

–Record warm water temperatures could spur more hurricanes.

–All hail, shale.

Lettuce e-fit.

–IEA says BP oil spill will have little supply impact on medium-term offshore drilling.

–Meanwhile, fishing expands in the Gulf – only 13% of the Gulf’s waters are now closed.

–Subway trains set to generate power for the grid.

1 billion more gallons of gasoline used every year due to increasing weight of passengers.

albino hedgehog

–Defending the oil sands.

–Woman fights bear…..with courgette (= zucchini).

The Burrito Deluxe Award of the Week goes to equities, which have rallied strongly on a mixed bag of data, the announcement that the recession ended in June 2009 (no announcement when the depression is set to end), and on news from the Federal Reserve that they will not re-start quantitative easing. (yet).

The Burnt Burrito Award of the Week goes to the US dollar. The dollar has tumbled this week, as aforementioned quantitative easing would essentially devalue the dollar. This should be positive for crude, due to its inverse relationship, right? You would think so, but all matter of moves have been occurring this week… 

The Burrito Chart of the Week goes to housing starts versus the unemployment rate. Who is winning? Neither – both are stinky.

Have an illustrious weekend!

0 Sep 23 2010 @ 9:12am by Matt Smith in Crude Oil, energy consulting, Global Energy, risk management, Risk Strategy

PepsiCo Pro Talks Energy Over Chips and Salsa

I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Miller of PepsiCo earlier this year at the grand opening of our London office, and he was both an interesting and highly entertaining character. So when I decided to interview someone for the burrito, my first choice of interviewee was an easy decision. So Mike good-humoredly provided answers to some random questions I threw at him this week:

1) What is your current role at PepsiCo and what was your journey to get there?

Sr. Group Manager, Energy Risk. I have been in the energy industry since 1997, starting out as an engineering computer drawing specialist with Kansas City Power and Light. I then got into customer service of the largest 1000 tier 2 customers, followed by an Account Representative for the largest industrial customers in the service territory. I then went onto positions at Utilicorp and TXU in an energy management role for both companies. After both companies ceased their energy management services operations I ended up at PepsiCo.

2) What has been the biggest change you have seen since joining PepsiCo?

Risk management has changed everywhere based on more stringent controls. These changes have made my role more challenging.

3) If you could have a super-power what would it be?

I think it would be cool to be able to fly.

4) What is your favorite aspect of your job?

The challenging, never dull, environment at PepsiCo. I work in an area of many type A personalities and I realize that I would not be satisfied at any workplace that did not have this characteristic.

5) From your perspective, what is going to be the biggest challenge in the energy world over the next decade?

Moving away from the use of crude oil and products – globally. The world’s economic growth engine is powered by middle distillates and there do not appear to be ample substitutes that will be able to offset the global population growth, coupled with the economic surges of emerging countries such as China, India and Brazil.     

A cure for the blues.

6) When we met earlier in the year, you spoke of your love of 1920s and 1930s blues, and how you’d even studied it at evening classes. What song would be the soundtrack to one of your better days at work?

Blind Lemon Jefferson – Father of the Texas Blues – Song: Got the Blues.

 7) Sustainability is a key aspect of your business; do you believe your focus has shifted towards being more sustainable at the expense of price risk management, or are the two concepts mutually exclusive at PepsiCo?

PepsiCo has a very strong world class sustainability program. My group mostly focuses on price risk and energy management for the physical and financial exposures within PepsiCo. I do not believe there has been a negative effect from the sustainability program on our ability to manage price risk.

8) Your day has just taken a turn for the worse. What song would now be the soundtrack to your day?

I would have to turn to some sort of heavy – alternative rock like Linkin Park.

9) What’s your favorite commodity, and why?

Crude Oil – because it is a global commodity and it is more challenging to analyze on a fundamental basis than natural gas, since it is more of a regional commodity.

10) I understand you used to be a trader, and still use technical analysis in your current role. Technical analysis is great, isn’t it?

Technical analysis is useful for indentifying short term trends which can be advantageous for trading or forecasting activities within the next couple months. I spend much more of my time on fundamental analysis since it provides more viable information for the longer term.

11) What’s your favorite candy bar, and why?

Reeses Peanut butter cup. I grew up on peanut butter sandwiches when I was a kid.

12) Do you have a motto or a key phrase which resonates with you?

Rock on!

Thanks so much, Mike, for the insights. Rock on indeed!

2 Aug 27 2010 @ 10:50am by Matt Smith in Biofuels, Capital Markets, Crude Oil, Economy, Global Energy, Natural Gas

Burrito Bites

Here’s the deal; weakening economic data has been unrelentingly pitched at us this week. Few have hit the mark, while many have dealt body blows. And some have just been a slap to the face. So let’s leave these misses, and hit some snacks:  

–How much oil from the spill is still in the Gulf?

–Natural gas futures premium is at its lowest in seven years

–Nasty people have a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Do cities attract hurricanes?

–Renewables increased 8.3% last year in Europe, coal consumption down 16.3%.

–Flow diagram of US energy use.

–Top ten most tattooed cities in the US.

–Factbox about biofuels in Brazil.

30 new coal-fired plants have been built in the US since 2008.

–Grannies knit smart car cosy.

–New microbe discovered eating oil spill in Gulf (h/t LB/NG).

–11 Green inventions that go too far.

–Fat-fingered Sumo Wrestlers unable to use cell phones.  

–Europe’s brisk energy transition.

–Great piece from the Economist on the outlooks for China and India.

–Chinese traffic jam has lasted nearly 2 weeks, spans 100km – and spurs price gouging.

The Burrito Deluxe Award of the week goes to the heating oil crack spread. This has rallied to a two-month high at $11.50, as higher future prices and Latin American demand has encouraged US refiners to increase output. (The crack spread = the profitability of turning a barrel of oil into heating oil. Calculation = the price of 42 gallons of heating oil minus the price of one barrel of oil).

The Burnt Burrito Award of the week goes to US natural gas, which has made a prompt month low for the year.

Burrito Headline of the Week: Police catch man in bush with socks on his hands.

I hate to go all naysayer-doomsayer-debbie downer on you, but this cannot be good. The Burrito Worry of the Week goes to the housing market. There is now 12.5 months of supply on the market. Even if  you think the economy is not double-dipping, you have to be delusional to think that the housing market isn’t. There were 11 million properties in negative equity in Q2 this year, not one house sold for above $750k across the entire US last month, and existing home sales hit their lowest level since 1996. All rather foreboding for the economic picture.

And finally! Last week’s caption competition was won by Kevin. A giftcard will be winging its way to you – have a burrito on the burrito!  Thanks to all for playing – Ginny, you are nuts.

Have a grandiose weekend!