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October 19, 2012
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News for and about the propane industry

  Top Story 
  • Analyst: Rise in propane stocks results from increased gas production
    U.S. propane inventories jumped to a record 75.6 million barrels last month, but energy market analyst Phil Flynn sees that resulting more from increased shale natural gas production than from the market's response to propane's low prices. "The supply and inventory increases for propane are most likely driven by producers responding to lower natural gas prices by increasingly focusing their production on wet fields," Flynn writes. Inside Futures (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Market Intelligence 
  • Use "cost-baking" to get fleet managers to convert to autogas
    To persuade fleet managers to convert to propane autogas, industry marketers should try the "cost-baking" model by incorporating the cost of the autogas system into the fuel's price, writes TSN Communications President and CEO Greg Zilberfarb. Fleet operators often are hesitant to make the switch when the conversion to autogas includes increasing their capital expenses or changing their vehicle class, he writes. (10/3) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Japanese firm to increase LPG imports from U.S.-based Enterprise
    Japanese firm Astomos Energy announced plans to triple its liquefied petroleum gas imports from U.S.-based Enterprise in 2015. Astomos, the largest LPG importer in Japan, said it will import about 584,224 tons of LPG per year from Enterprise under a new contract by 2015. Platts (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Supply worries drive North Sea propane's price premium over naphtha
    North Sea propane's price premium over naphtha has increased as traders expect propane supplies to get tighter, industry sources disclosed. Propane marketers worry that propane supplies from the U.K. and Asia will decline as technical problems at the U.K.'s Braefoot Bay export terminal and upbeat market conditions in Asia are expected to reduce export volumes. "Propane is driven by supply worries," one trader said. Platts (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • U.S. housing starts in September grew the fastest since 2008
    U.S. builders started construction of homes at an annual rate of 872,000 in September, a 15% increase, the fastest expansion since July 2008, the Commerce Department said. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder-sentiment index rose to 41 this month, the most optimistic reading since June 2006. Bloomberg (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research & Development 
  • Texas university to offer graduate program for subsea engineering
    The country's first subsea engineering graduate program will be offered at the University of Houston in acknowledgement of increasing offshore-drilling demand. "There's a huge knowledge and capability above the water and on land," said Matthew Franchek, who will be heading the program. "This transitions them to go subsea. We have to develop a new workforce." (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Training 
  • Maine group files petition in court against state regulator
    A group that opposes DCP Midstream's plan to build a 22.7 million-gallon propane depot in Searsport, Maine, filed a court petition this week against the state Department of Professional and Financial Regulation. The group wants the court to review the process that led to the granting of a Maine Fuel Board permit for the development. The group said the permit "was issued unlawfully." The Free Press (Rockland, Maine) (10/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Leadership & Management 
  • Run your business like an '80s hair band
    The big-hair, big-noise bands of the 1980s aren't known for their business acumen, but any company can learn from them, writes Kristin M. Woodman. The best bands knew how to differentiate themselves, how to have fun while getting work done, and how to evolve as the public's tastes changed. "Like an evolving band, a company's success is dependent on a commitment to core principles, with awareness that compromise is possible -- and potentially necessary -- to thrive in a changing marketplace," Woodman writes. ThoughtLeaders blog (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Do your speeches do more to discourage than to motivate?
    If you're a leader, the way you talk to your employees can have a significant impact on their attitudes toward the company and on their productivity. Mary Jo Asmus recounts a story from her own life when a CEO threatened the company with layoffs unless productivity improved, which had a major negative effect on morale. "The problem was that the CEO's speech never once made anyone feel inspired or motivated to work harder." The speech would have been more effective if the CEO had thanked the employees for the work they had already done and indicated that he would hold discussions about how to boost productivity, she writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  PERC News 
  • Grow Your Residential Business with Homebuilder Associations
    Joining a local homebuilder association is a valuable way for marketers to expand their contacts and develop new clients, according to Bridget Scanlon, director of residential and commercial programs with the Propane Education & Research Council. "You will broaden your network of potential clients, increase the visibility of your company, and position yourself to be an expert," Scanlon told Propane News in a Q&A. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Safety Module on Space Heaters Fits Changing Weather
    Cool weather means it's time for marketers to share season-appropriate safety modules from the Propane Education & Research Council. The module "Using Space Heaters Safely" provides tips on the proper use of propane-fueled space heaters and can be viewed in about 10 minutes. View the space-heater safety module. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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Not all those who wander are lost."
--J.R.R. Tolkien,
British writer, poet, philologist and professor

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The Propane Education & Research Council promotes the safe, efficient use of odorized propane gas as a preferred energy resource. The Council was authorized by Congress with the passage of the Propane Education and Research Act (PERA), October 11, 1996.

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