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October 29, 2012
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News for and about the propane industry

  Top Story 
  • Del. firm thrives after opening propane business
    Camden, Del.-based Kent Oil has seen significant sales growth after recently adding propane to its fuel offerings. "About 30 to 40 percent of our customers in the last couple years have made inquiries about propane," said Kent Oil President Justin King. He said his company's sales last month grew to triple what he expected after opening his business' propane subsidiary. Dover Post (Del.) (10/23) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Market Intelligence 
  • No price change for propane, heating fuels despite winter forecast
    Prices of propane and natural gas will remain steady despite an expected increase in demand for heating fuel as winter approaches, market analysts said. "Even though this winter is set to be cooler than last year's balmy conditions, the strong inventories and production levels for natural gas and propane should keep prices in check," said Schneider Electric commodity analyst Matt Smith. MarketWatch (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • IHS: Oil, gas industry jobs to pay "dramatically higher" wages
    The "high-quality and high-paying" jobs to arise from the oil and natural gas boom in the U.S. will pay average salaries of about $35 per hour, a lot higher than the $23 per hour average elsewhere in the country's job market, according to a report from IHS. Apart from jobs directly related to oil and natural gas production, the shale gas boom will generate onshore manufacturing jobs in related industries such as drilling-equipment production, consulting, and legal and computer services, the report adds. Fox Business (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research & Development 
  • High NGL yield boosts returns from Bakken wells in N.D.
    Oil drillers in North Dakota's Bakken formation benefit greatly from the abundance of propane, ethane and other natural gas liquids in the area as high NGL yield bolsters the wells' value. A recent study by the Energy Information Administration reported that gas processing plants in the state process some of the most valuable gas in the U.S. Reuters (10/26) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Asian, European petchem producers adjust to U.S. cost advantages
    The competitiveness of U.S. petrochemical producers as a result of cheap natural gas from the country's shale gas boom hampers similar industries in Europe and in Asia. In Asia, for example, Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical is looking to shut down naphtha-feedstock units because it cannot compete with the ethane-based production of U.S. chemical producers. "Production costs with shale gas are lower than anything we can achieve in the short term in Europe," said Harald Schwager, a BASF board member. Bloomberg Businessweek (10/25), The Wall Street Journal (10/24) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Safety & Training 
  PERC News 
  • Free Hurricane Safety Material Available from PERC
    Propane retailers along the East Coast that may be impacted by Hurricane Sandy can use the free Propane Safety and Hurricanes brochure and online module to help customers prepare for weather-related problems. Both are available in Spanish and English, and can be downloaded and printed, or copied and e-mailed to customers. Visit this safety page from the Propane Education & Research Council to access the material. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Leadership & Management 
  • 7 changes companies must go through as they grow
    The goal of startups is to grow, often into a big company of $250 million annual revenue or more, but doing so brings numerous shifts in culture, strategy and organization, writes Daniel McCarthy. This includes a shift from the technical to the personal. "Leaders need to start spending less time on the technical aspects of the business and much more time on coaching and developing employees," he writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (10/25) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CEOs need to view lean as a culture, not a tool
    When lean-manufacturing expert Art Byrne asked workers at Wiremold in the 1990s to cut one of their machine setup processes from 14 hours to under 10 minutes, they said it was impossible -- but then cut it to six minutes with a few changes. That kind of improvement happens when CEOs treat lean management as a part of company culture and actively get out and promote it, Byrne said. Dan Ariens, the CEO of lawn and garden equipment producer Ariens Co., said he takes regular "gemba walks" through the company's five plants to monitor and praise employees' lean efforts. "I have to be the guy who holds the stake in place and not let it slip back," Ariens said. IndustryWeek (10/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
Being inexhaustible, life and nature are a constant stimulus for a creative mind."
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German-American abstract expressionist painter

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About PERC
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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