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Friday, November 24, 2006

It's all about the oil

World oil production may have peaked (Thu Oct 26)

«Matthew Simmons, chairman of Simmons & Co. International, a Houston-based investment banking firm specializing in the energy sector, said U.S. government data showed that the world oil supply has declined through the first half of this year.

Energy Information Administration data showed world supply of crude oil has declined to 83.98 million barrels per day in the second quarter after hitting 84.35 million bpd in the fourth quarter of 2005.(...)

Rising demand for oil, stoked by the rapid economic development of China and India, have helped to drive oil prices to record highs. U.S. oil futures peaked above $78 in July, but have since eased to about $61 per barrel. (...)

It's hard to determine just how much oil is left in the world, since companies in different countries use varying standards to calculate their oil reserves, speakers said. Major oil companies haven't raised the specter of peak supply with their shareholders. One speaker said that could suggest their oil reserves are richer than many executives disclose, as a result of strict U.S. regulations on how public companies may estimate their reserves.»

Oil prices fall as crude supplies surge (Wed Nov 22)

Oil prices fell Wednesday after U.S. government data showed rising supplies of crude. (...) The Energy Department's weekly petroleum report said crude-oil inventories swelled by 5.1 million barrels last week to 341.1 million barrels, or 6 percent above year ago levels.

The nation's gasoline stocks grew by 1.4 million barrels to 201.7 million barrels after a drop in refinery activity, leaving them less than 1 percent below year ago levels. The supply of distillate fuel, which includes heating oil and diesel, is slightly above year ago levels even after a 1.2 million barrel decline that left inventories at 133.8 million barrels.(...)

Light sweet crude for January delivery fell 93 cents to settle at $59.24 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where natural gas futures slid 27 cents to settle at $7.718 per 1,000 cubic feet. On London's ICE Futures exchange, January Brent futures dipped 90 cents to settle at $59.49 a barrel.(...)

"Day-to-day events and commentary will continue to push prices up and down in the short term, but until something new of significant fundamental import surfaces, prices will most likely remain fairly close to the current range," said John Kilduff at Fimat USA.(...)

Oil prices have fallen by about 23 percent since hitting an all-time trading high above $78 a barrel in mid-July. They haven't settled above $62 a barrel since Oct. 1, despite the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' announcement in mid-October that it would reduce output by 1.2 million barrels a day.
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