BP’s oil refinery in Cherry Point, Wash.–which had been closed since February when a critical unit was damaged by fire–is expected to resume production this month after completion of repairs and annual maintenance. The refinery, the third largest on the West Coast, produces more than 200,000 barrels of gasoline and jet fuel a day and supplies the bulk of jet fuel for airports from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. According to industry data provider Argus, the shortfall did not result in any dramatic jet fuel price spikes in the region.
Airports, Heliports and FBOs » Fuel
Moving on from the February dissolution of its licensing agreement with BP for use of the Air BP name, fuel distributor Epic Aviation expects to complete the rebranding of the former Air BP network of FBOs in the U.S. and Canada to its own Epic Aviation brand this summer.
The Oregon-based company’s recent alliance with flight-planning provider Universal Weather & Aviation will soon bear fruit. Next month, Epic will roll out a premier brand among its 300-plus affiliate FBOs known as the UV Air FBO Network, which will debut at more than 20 major gateway airports.
Global energy, petrochemicals and metals information provider Platts launched a jet fuel microsite yesterday aimed at the energy information needs of the aviation industry. “We’re pleased to introduce a one-stop source of global jet fuel news and price data that we believe will further enhance transparency in and broader understanding of the aviation fuel markets,” said Platts global editorial director of oil Dave Ernsberger.
Oil speculators’ uneasiness over the resurgence of the “Arab spring” is the main factor driving jet-A prices ever closer to–and in some cases beyond–$6 per gallon, according to aviation fuel consultant Mark Wagner. Jet-A prices in the continental U.S. are now averaging $5.64 per gallon, ranging from $3.94 in the Great Lakes region to $6.01 in the Eastern region, current data from AirNav shows.
The price of Brent Crude, which is refined to make jet-A and other fuels, continues to rise and stood at $124.20 per barrel late yesterday.
Deficiencies in the general operating manual (GOM) and a lack of safety management system (SMS) training were cited as the top two problems at Part 91 and 135 operators, according to an SMS audit report released this week by Argus’s Professional Resources In System Management (Prism) division. The Prism team reviewed audits conducted at 74 operators last year by sister company Argus Pros and then compiled the results in the report.
Today at the Air Transport Action Group Aviation and Environment Summit in Geneva, Boeing, Airbus and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to work together on the development of drop-in, affordable aviation biofuels. The three aircraft manufacturers will seek “collaborative opportunities to speak in unity to government, biofuel producers and other key stakeholders to support, promote and accelerate the availability of sustainable new jet fuel sources. Their goal is to have biofuel meet 4 percent of aviation’s fuel needs by 2020.
Environmental group Friends of the Earth filed a lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), charging the agency with failure to respond to its 2006 petition requesting the regulation of lead emissions from GA aircraft under the Clean Air Act. In the petition, the group asked the EPA to rule that emissions from aircraft that burn leaded fuel may pose a threat to public health. According to the group, nearly six years later, there has been no final action from the agency.
The National Air Transportation Association (NATA) is calling on its members to urge their congressional representatives to include language in pending legislation to repeal the “fuel fraud” provision. The provision, part of the 2005 Highway Bill, changed the collection of taxes for non-commercial jet fuel and required them to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
With the House of Representatives scheduled to vote this week on H.R.7, a Federal Highway Administration reauthorization bill, NATA is lobbying to get a provision included in the bill that would repeal the “onerous fuel fraud tax.” The fuel fraud provision, which was included in a 2005 FHA bill, changed the collection of taxes for noncommercial aviation jet fuel and required the funds to be deposited into the Highway Trust Fund.
A San Bernardino, Calif. Superior Court judge dissolved a temporary restraining order against the San Bernardino Airport Authority on Friday, paving the way for the authority to terminate its fueling contract with SBD Airport Services. SBD is one of several companies operating at the airport with ties to airport developer Scot Spencer and former airport executive director T. Milford Harrison.