LoneStar Group Are Exhibiting at EIC Connect

Many of the world’s leading Oil & Gas companies will be meeting in Manchester this November for what is expected to be the biggest event of year for the UK Oil and Gas Supply Chain.

This annual flagship event, now in its 10th year is taking place on 27th and 28th November 2012 at Manchester Central is being hosted by the EIC, the leading trade association for UK companies supplying goods and services to the energy industries worldwide.

With over 1000 industry colleagues set to attend this prestigious event, LoneStar Group is delighted to announce our attendance this year. As well as sponsoring the event, LoneStar Group will be exhibiting for the first time under our exciting new branding and are looking forward to showcasing our new image and growing presence within the global energy markets.

Come and Visit us at the Registration area – 27th and 28th November, we will look forward to seeing you there.

For more information, visit http://www.eiconnect.co.uk

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History of the LoneStar Group

The LoneStar Group was born from the merger of three great businesses – LS Precision Manufacturing Inc, PRD Holdings and Energy Hardware culminating in its current form in 2011. The resulting combination provides a market leading Group supplying specialist fasteners, machined components, gaskets and seals to the Energy sector worldwide.

PRD Holdings started life in the early 1980’s with PRD Engineering Tools, a small company selling Engineering Tools and Machines from a 500 sq ft facility located at Willenhall, in the United Kingdom. With the addition of new members, the company soon became PRD Fasteners, starting its operations from a larger location of 7,500 sq ft and specializing in high integrity fastener products.

In 1985, Eurofast was then formed by PRD to supply products to the Petrochemical Industry. They kept a range of Threaded Bar and Nuts in varying sizes, materials and grades to allow them to manufacture Stud Bolts for the Oil, Gas and associated markets.

5 years later and with both businesses continuing to grow, Triplefast International was created to service the export sales of PRD and Eurofast – thus enabling PRD Holdings to sell to the European marketplace.

The geographic reach improved further when in 2002 Triplefast Middle East was formed to act as the manufacturing, stockholding and sales centre for the Middle Eastern areas.

Later expansion in 2005 saw PRD Holdings increase their global presence again by opening LoneStar PHIT in China.

Meanwhile in Houston (USA), a separate company called LoneStar Fasteners was formed in 2001, acquiring other fastener companies LSS LoneStar and Walker Bolt in 2003. In order to expand upon their core fastener range, they started LoneStar Sealing Technologies in 2004. This enabled them to offer a wide range of sealing and gaskets to accompany their core bolting products.

Similar to PRD Holdings, LoneStar expanded further with the purchase of Leeds based Grange Gaskets in the United Kingdom, whose business had been running successfully since 1948. The acquisition then saw the company renamed to LoneStar Grange in 2006.

In addition to UK growth, LoneStar also extended their business further around the globe in 2006 by opening LoneStar SRL in Romania and Triplefast Pte in Singapore 4 years later.

UK expansion continued in early 2007 with the acquisition of LWD Precision Manufacturing.

LS Precision Manufacturing Inc and PRD Holdings merged in 2007 to create LoneStar PRD Holdings Group who quickly became known as one of the largest fastener, gasket and machined component manufacturers and distributors in the world.

Energy Hardware was founded in 2001 in Greenville, SC. The company had grown to become the foremost supplier of fasteners and kits to the Worlds Power Generation market.

New Brand

 

LoneStar Group is proud to announce our new logo.

We feel that the design is a distinctive and bold visual symbol very much in keeping with the values and ambition of  the LoneStar Group. It is exceptionally adaptable, suitable for reproduction in a multitude of sizes and applications.

Unconventional gas supporting 1.4 million US jobs by 2015

Natural gas production from shale, coalbed methane, and tight sands is expected to support 1.4 million US jobs by 2015, said a new study released by IHS Global Insight.

Unconventional gas activity supported more than 1 million jobs in 2010, said the report, entitled, “The Economic and Employment Contributions of Unconventional Gas Development in State Economies.”

Unconventional gas activity accounted for 53% of total US gas production in 2010 and is projected to rise to 79% of total US gas production by 2035, the study said.

Nearly $3.2 trillion in cumulative investments in the development of unconventional gas are expected to fuel increased production during 2010-35, IHS said.

“At a time when the US economy is slowly recovering from the Great Recession and struggling to create enough jobs to sharply reduce the unemployment rate, the growth in shale and other unconventional natural gas production is a major contributor to employment prospects and the US economy,” said IHS Vice-Pres. John Larson, lead author of the study.

During 2010-15, the top 10 producing states as ranked by unconventional gas-related employment are listed as Texas, Louisiana, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Arkansas, Wyoming, Ohio, Utah, Oklahoma, and Michigan.

These 10 states are expected to experience a compound job growth rate of nearly 8%/year, with Pennsylvania and Colorado leading with expected compound growth rates of 14% and 10%, respectively. Meanwhile, total US employment is expected to grow at a significantly lower average rate of 1.6% during the same period, IHS said.

Of the nearly 1.5 million unconventional gas activity jobs contributing to the economy by 2015, nearly one-fifth are projected for nonproducing states.

The top 10 nonproducing states as ranked by jobs growth due to unconventional gas development in 2015 are projected to be California, Florida, Georgia, Missouri, North Carolina, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Tennessee, and Maryland.

“When it comes to unconventional natural gas, a state does not need to have a gas play to benefit economically” Larson added.

 

By Paula Dittrick,

OGJ Senior Staff Writer

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Oil prices mixed; gas price continues to fall

By Sam Fletcher
OGJ Senior Writer
 

Although oil prices continued to gain on May 25, front-month crude futures traded down 1% for the whole of last week amid concerns over the deteriorating economy, particularly in Europe.

“Natural gas futures lost 6.3% on the week after climbing more than 35% over the prior month,” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. “With the Greek election only 3 weeks away and Spain’s bailout of Bankia SA, we expect investor focus to remain heavily centered on Europe.” Spain earlier this month nationalized Bankia, one of the banks most exposed to the collapse in the Spanish property market.

James Zhang at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group, said, “The oil market appeared to be stabilizing [on May 25]…. Oil products followed crude and ended the day slightly higher. The backwardation at the front-end of the Brent curve remains rather steep although the back-end has weakened significantly over the past few weeks. Elsewhere of note, the front-end of the West Texas Intermediate curve has been stable with the Seaway Pipeline starting to ship oil from Cushing, Okla., to the US Gulf Coast. Meanwhile, the ICE gas oil June-July spread is in a counter-seasonal backwardation, while the contango in heating oil [in New York] has steepened noticeably since the beginning of May.”

However, crude prices fell in early trading May 29 in London and New York after ratings agency Egan Jones downgraded Spain’s sovereign debt on expectations widespread unemployment and a contracting economy will hinder Spain’s ability to repay debt.

Meanwhile, the Conference Board private research group said its Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 64.9 in May from a revised 68.7 in April, the biggest reduction in 8 months. The report said US residents worry about slow hiring, declining home values, a weak stock market, and a worsening European economy that threatens to undermine US recovery.

Nevertheless, Raymond James analysts reported, “Despite continued concerns from Europe of a potential Greek exit as well as Spanish banking issues, the broader markets were able to break a 3-week losing streak with the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 1.7% last week.” The Oil Service Index and the SIG Oil Exploration & Production Index outpaced the broader markets, gaining 3.9% and 1.9%, respectively.

Olivier Jakob at Petromatrix in Zug, Switzerland, said, “The S&P 500 managed to stabilize during the week…but is down 5.73% for the month and up 4.79% for the year. The NASDAQ was up 2.11% during the week and is down 6.86% for month but up 8.92% for the year.” He said, “The S&P 500 is close to the levels of last year for the same week, but the sectors that were leading in 2011 are trailing in 2012. Up until a few weeks ago, the financial sector was the leading sector this year, but it has been coming off since JP Morgan [Chase & Co., the biggest US bank] showed that investment banks transformed themselves from ‘too big to fail’ to ‘too big to whale’” (OGJ Online, May 11, 2012).

Jakob reported, “Apart from the German DAX, the other European stock markets are in red, and yields were not improving for Italy, Spain, and Portugal while Germany was selling during the week some 2-year bonds with zero yields. Spanish bank Bankia on May 25 asked the state to be kind enough to help it to the tune of an additional €19 billion while the Spanish state of Catalonia is asking for help in order to refinance its debts.” On May 28, the 10-year bond yields for Spain rose to 6.5%.

“With the fear of Greece and some resurgence of the fear of Spain, the euro-dollar [valuation] has been under serious pressure during the week and broke the support of 1.262, and 1.25 was broken on an intraday basis May 25,” said Jakob. “This will start to make things more complicated for the US Federal Reserve that has been doing everything it can to have a weak dollar. The correlations between oil, equities, and the euro-dollar remain at very high level.”

Zhang said, “While the Euro-zone sovereign debt crisis is still rocking the market, in particular the possibility of a Greek exit, the oil market has shifted its focus towards Iran after a disappointing round of negotiation over the country’s nuclear ambitions. The latest news suggests that Iran is holding back any International Atomic Energy Agency inspection while pushing ahead on its uranium enrichment program. This suggests that progress in the next round of negotiations, set for June 18-19 in Moscow, is unlikely to be made.”

He reported price differentials for physical crude cargoes have been strengthening, pointing to a tighter market due to healthy refining margins and the end of the spring maintenance season for refiners. “The counter-seasonal strength in European middle distillates also gives cause for concerns in terms of the potential for further tightening in the physical market,” he said.

Energy prices

The July contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes continued to rise, up 20¢ to $90.86/bbl May 25 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The August contract gained 21¢ to $91.15/bbl. On the US spot market, WTI at Cushing was up 20¢ to $90.86/bbl.

Heating oil for June delivery inched up 0.69¢ to $2.83/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month increased 1.64¢ to $2.89/gal.

The June natural gas contract fell 7.9¢ to $2.57/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 7.5¢ $2.58/MMbtu.

In London, the July IPE contract for North Sea Brent increased 28¢ to $106.83/bbl. Gas oil for June advanced $2.75 to $908.25/tonne.

The US market was closed May 28 for the Memorial Day holiday.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes increased 42¢ to $105.01/bbl on May 28.

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OTC 2012

OTC 2012 is almost here! Check out all the reasons you should be at the event in Houston, Texas!

Do not forget to visit LoneStar Sealing and LoneStar Fasteners stand.

Oil prices continue to rise, gas price declines

By Sam Fletcher
OGJ Senior Writer

Oil prices continued climbing albeit at a slower pace, following a rise in the equity market after the Federal Reserve Bank reiterated its commitment to low interest rates into 2014 and generated the largest 1-day market percentage gain in weeks.

“The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 1.4% on the day, benefiting from the Fed’s remarks as well as brighter expectations for growth in the Chinese economy in the first quarter from surveyed economists (they were wrong),” said analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc.

“Ironically, a short-term spike in weekly jobless claims may have also fueled the bulls yesterday, as many saw the data point as increasing the likelihood that the Fed might initiate another round of easing,” they said. “Crude followed the broader markets to close a percentage point higher. Natural gas, on the other hand, remained flat at sub-$2/Mcf levels in spite of a weekly storage build well below expectations.”

James Zhang at Standard New York Securities Inc., the Standard Bank Group, reported that gasoline remained the leader across the complex, and middle-distillates also were strong following an earlier government report of a hefty fall in product inventories (OGJ Online, Apr. 11, 2012). He said, “Despite the rally in flat price, the very front end of Brent time spread fell further, with the May-June Brent spread trading below 20¢/bbl after hitting $1/bbl at the end of February. In contrast, the front-end of West Texas Intermediate spread rallied during the last few sessions as the pace of stock build at Cushing, Okla., has slowed sharply. The back end of the time spread, however, rallied sharply, and implied volatility for long-dated contracts also rose. Both suggest that substantial producer hedging volume might have gone through during the day.”

Total product stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp region and in Singapore fell as spring maintenance of refineries in the northern hemisphere continues. “Clearly, refineries in Europe have responded to the very strong gasoline crack by scarifying middle distillate yield. In Singapore, total product stocks fell by 400,000 bbl week-over-week as the fall in fuel oil stock outpaced a rise in middle-distillate stock. Broadly speaking, product inventories are fairly comfortable in both regions as inventories of most product groups remain above their previous 5-year average levels,” said Zhang.

Energy prices

The May contract for benchmark US light, sweet crudes gained 94¢ to $103.64/bbl Apr. 12 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The June contract increased 92¢ to $104.10/bbl. On the US spot market, WTI at Cushing, was up 94¢ to $103.64/bbl.

Heating oil for May delivery advanced 5.14¢ to $3.17/gal on NYMEX. Reformulated stock for oxygenate blending for the same month rose 6.12¢ to $3.36/gal.

The May natural gas contract dipped 0.1¢ but closed essentially unchanged at a rounded $1.98/MMbtu on NYMEX. On the US spot market, gas at Henry Hub, La., dropped 2.2¢ to $1.89/MMbtu.

In London, the May IPE contract for North Sea Brent increased $1.53 to $121.71/bbl. Gas oil for April was unchanged at $999/tonne.

The average price for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ basket of 12 benchmark crudes lost 92¢ to $117.80/bbl.

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