Oil Shockwaves From U.S. Shale Boom Seen by IEA Ousting OPEC: Bloomberg News on Tuesday reportedon a new International Energy Agency (IEA) assessment that concludes the U.S. shale boom will lead to “shockwaves” through global oil trade over the next 5 years, resulting in benefits for U.S. refiners and the replacement of OPEC as the driver of growth in supplies.  According to the IEA medium-term market report, North America will contribute 40% of new supplies through 2018, while OPEC’s share of new supplies will drop to 30%.  IEA stated that “[t]he supply shock created by a surge in North American oil production will be as transformative to the market over the next five years as was the rise of Chinese demand over the last 15.”  According to IEA, U.S. shale resource development is leading to a “chain reaction” in the global transportation, processing, and storage of oil that could accelerate as other nations try to re-create the U.S. boom.  IEA predicts world oil demand will rise 6.1 million barrels per day by 2018.

Gasoline Rises Most In Three Months At U.S. Pumps: Bloomberg on Tuesday wrote about new U.S. Energy Information Administration data which finds that average U.S. gasoline prices saw its largest weekly gain since February.  Average prices rose 6.5 cents to $3.603 per gallon, with prices rising in every region.  The price increase was attributed to higher crude costs and West Coast refinery outages, with the West Coast leading all regions with an average gasoline price of $3.938 per gallon.  The least expensive gasoline in the U.S. was on the Gulf Coast, where gasoline prices rose 6.5 cents to an average $3.364 per gallon, and the smallest increase in gasoline prices occurred on the East Coast, where gasoline prices rose 3.2 cents to an average $3.484 per gallon.  Stillwater Associates President David Hackett said that “[w]ith the normal lag from crude oil to retail, I expect retail is now responding to higher crude oil prices as well.”

Shale-Related Jobs Expected To Double In Nueces Co.: Corpus Christi, TX NBC affiliate KRIS-TV on Tuesday ran a story about a presentation delivered by University of Texas-San Antonio (UTSA) representatives highlighting the impact of the Eagle Ford Shale boom on the local economy.  Eagle Ford activity brought $8.5 billion in revenue to Nueces County in 2012 and has generated 6,699 jobs in the county to date.  According to UTSA, jobs in Nueces County could double to 11,500 in 2022.  Experts predict that the boom could generate $19.8 billion by 2022 in Nueces County alone.  The oil and gas boom has impacted businesses of all sizes, with job growth occurring in companies both directly and indirectly involved with oil and gas production.  Production Equipment Company of South Texas Manager Ray Perez reports that since Eagle Ford Shale activity commenced, “[t]here’s a lot more companies that are drilling wells out there” and “[i]t’s increased our business by probably 30-40%.”

Better Batteries Could Revolutionize Solar, Wind Power: USA Today recently reported on intensifying efforts to build more powerful, longer-lasting batteries for cars, homes, and utilities.  With the ability to store solar and wind power, batteries are key to providing a continuous supply of renewable energy.  American Vanadium President Bill Radvak says call it “the dawn of the energy-storage age,” with storage being a potential “holy grail” for renewable energy.  An IMS Research report released in early May forecasts that the global solar power storage market will rise from under $200 million in 2012 to $19 billion by 2017, with falling renewable energy prices cited as one component driving the surge.  Challenges ahead include cost and safety, leading companies, universities, and others to pursue various chemical mixes and the potential nano-sizing of chemical elements to increase efficiency.  Battery uses include grid-scale projects, taking homes off the grid, powering vehicles, and providing back-up energy.