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Shell and Penske announce global business alliance

Shell Oil Company and Penske Corporation have announced a multi-year cross business alliance starting in the 2011 racing season. The new alliance allows Shell and Pennzoil to expand their motorsports presence as it includes a primary sponsorship with 2004 NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series champion Kurt Busch and the No. 22 car, as well as associate sponsorships promoting Shell V-Power® with IZOD IndyCar Series drivers Helio Castroneves, Will Power, and Ryan Briscoe.

Beginning in 2011, Shell and Pennzoil will be the "Official Fuel and Motor Oil Supplier" to the Penske organization in the U.S., and the organizations will look to extend their alliance with business development opportunities in several other countries. As part of the alliance, Pennzoil will become the "Official Motor Oil" of Penske Racing in 2011, which includes all of its entries in the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series as well as the IZOD IndyCar Series.

Shell is the no. 1 lubricants supplier in the U.S. and the nation's best-selling gasoline brand with more than 14,000 branded stations selling more premium gasoline, Shell V-Power, than any other brand. Shell has a strong motorsports history aligning with race teams since the 1920s. In addition to the alliance with Penske Racing, Shell currently has several motorsport technical co-operation programs in place, including Ferrari in Formula 1, Ducati in MotoGP, and with Richard Childress Racing and Hendrick Motorsports in NASCAR.


Above-average hurricane activity in the forecast

The Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University issued its annual hurricane season forecast, predicting an above-average season. With information obtained through March 2010, the group said it indicates that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season will have significantly more activity than the average 1950-2000 season.

The Department estimates that 2010 will have 8 hurricanes (average is 5.9), 15 named storms (average is 9.6), 75 named storm days (average is 49.1), 35 hurricane days (average is 24.5), 4 major Category 3-4-5 hurricanes (average is 2.3), and 10 major hurricane days (average is 5.0). The probability of U.S. major hurricane landfall is estimated to be about 130 percent of the long-period average. Atlantic basin Net Tropical Cyclone activity in 2010 is expected to be approximately 160 percent of the long-term average.


U.S. gasoline demand and production set records

U.S. refineries produced more gasoline this March – 9.3 million barrels per day – than any previous month on record. March gasoline deliveries (a measure of demand) were higher, at 9.2 million barrels per day, than any previous March. The highest amount of gasoline ever delivered was 9.6 million barrels per day in July 2007. Total March deliveries of all products, including gasoline, distillate, kerosene-jet fuel, and residual fuel, rose 3.5 percent from a year ago.

"U.S. refineries are doing yeoman's work meeting consumer demand," said API Chief Economist John Felmy. "Moreover, the record gasoline production in March makes it abundantly clear that supply is not an issue with the higher gasoline prices we've seen. Sharply higher crude oil prices are driving that, and they continue to put upward pressure on the price at the pump."

Domestic crude oil production in March 2010 hit 5.5 million barrels per day for the second month in a row, up 1.1 percent from March 2009 (and slightly up from February 2010). Total imports of crude oil and products fell in March compared with the same month a year ago. Crude oil imports slipped 1.2 percent; product imports fell 31.0 percent.

Except for March last year, crude oil stocks at 352.8 million barrels were the highest for any March since 1990. Total gasoline inventories fell for the first time in five months to 220.7 million barrels; stocks of ultra-low sulfur diesel, which is primarily used in trucks, declined 4.1 percent from February but were 4.8 percent up from March a year ago; and jet fuel inventories fell this March for the second month in a row.


Petrobras sets oil exports record in March

In March, Brazilian oil company Petrobras set the exports record of 733,000 barrels per day of oil per day, topping out at 22.73 million barrels in the month. This record surpassed the previous mark set in December 2008 by 113,000 barrels.

The largest export destination was the United States, which accounted for 32 percent of the total. The U.S. was trailed by India at 22 percent, China at 20 percent, Europe at 18 percent, and Japan and Canada at 4 percent. The volumes refer to physical Brazilian oil output in March. These loads will be billed in April and May 2010.

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The American Coalition for Ethanol publishes Ethanol Today magazine each month to cover the biofuels industry�s hot topics, including cellulosic ethanol, E85, corn ethanol, food versus fuel, ethanol�s carbon footprint, E10, E15, and mid-range ethanol blends.
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