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EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – March 2019 Edition with data for January 2019

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – March 2019 Edition with data for January 2019

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The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on March 26th, with data for January 2019. The table above shows the percentage contribution of the main fuel sources to two decimal places for the last two months and the year 2019 to date.

In January, the absolute amount of electricity generated rose back to levels not seen since the end of summer in September 2018, probably as a result of the need for longer hours of lighting during the longer nights coupled with the increased needs for heating in the middle of winter. Coal and Natural Gas between them, fueled 61.49% of US electricity generation in January, with the contributions from Nuclear and Conventional Hydroelectric declining. The contribution from Natural Gas was up at 33.25%, from 31.71% in December, with the amount generated rising from 106,978 GWh to 118,935 GWh. Generation fueled by coal increased from 96,825 GWh to 101,019 GWh resulting in the percentage contribution falling from 28.70% to 28.24%. The amount of electricity generated by Nuclear plants increased from 71,657 GWh to 73,701 GWh with the resulting contribution actually declining from 21.24% to 20.60% in January. The amount generated by Conventional Hydroelectric increased from 23,728 GWh in December to 24,544 GWh in January with resulting contribution decreasing to 6.86% as opposed to 7.03% in December. The amount generated by Wind increased from 21,154 GWh to 22,493 GWh with the resulting contribution rising very slightly from 6.27% to 6.29% in January. The estimated total solar output rose from 4.962 GWh to 5,859 GWh with the resulting contribution rising from 1.47% to 1.56%. The contribution of zero carbon or carbon neutral sources declined from 38.59% in December to 37.41% in January.

The graph below shows the absolute monthly production from the various sources as well as the total amount generated (right axis).

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 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Prices Spike On Shale Slowdown

Oil Prices Spike On Shale Slowdown

Shale tower

The collapse of oil prices late last year, along with pressure from shareholders, has led to a slowdown in the U.S. shale industry.

The EIA released new monthly data on March 29, which revealed a decline in output of about 90,000 bpd between December and January, evidence that shale drillers slammed on the breaks after oil prices fell off a cliff in the fourth quarter. The 90,000-bpd decline came after a rather meager 35,000-bpd increase the month before, which was the weakest increase in months.

But the U.S. shale industry is facing more headwinds than just a temporary dip in oil prices. Shareholders have run out of patience with unprofitable drilling, and are demanding returns, which is tightening the screws on less competitive companies and forcing spending cutbacks across the board. More worrying for the industry is a growing recognition of the “parent-child” well problem – the unexpected poor performance of subsequent wells drilled in close proximity to the original “parent” well.

These obstacles are beginning to pile up. Schlumberger and Halliburton, the two top oilfield services companies, have predicted that shale drillers will be forced to collectively cut spending by more than 10 percent this year.

The slowdown could put some bullish pressure on the oil market, already suffering from outages in Venezuela, Iran and coordinated cuts from OPEC+. While U.S. inventories rose unexpectedly last week, much of the increase can be chalked up to turmoil in the Houston Ship Channel following a major fire at a petrochemical facility.

Indeed, some analysts see significant stock declines in the next few weeks. “The most visible inventory levels in the world…will fall victim to a potent mix of Venezuelan supply disruptions, a Houston Ship Channel chemical spill, and an uptick in refining runs,” Barclays wrote in a note on March 29. The investment bank sees WTI rising to an average of $65 per barrel this year. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer

NEXT OIL DOMINO TO FALL? Mexico Becomes A Net Oil Importer

While Mexico suffered the bloodiest year of violent deaths in 2018, even bigger trouble may be ahead for the embattled country.  For the first time in more than 50 years, Mexico has become a net importer of oil.  This is undoubtedly bad news for the Mexican Government as it has relied upon its oil revenues to fund a large percentage of its public spending.

However, it wasn’t always this way.  After the discovery of the huge Cantarell Oil Field in the Gulf of Mexico in 1976, Mexico’s oil production surged from 894,000 barrels per day to a peak of 3.8 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2004.  That year, Mexico’s net oil exports exceeded 1.8 mbd.

Unfortunately, the downturn of Mexico’s oil production was mainly due to the peak and decline of the Cantarell Oil Field, which topped out at 2.1 mbd in 2004 and is now below 135,000 barrels per day:

With the rapid decline in Cantarell’s oil production, Mexico’s net oil exports also plummeted from 1.8 mbd in 2004 to only 314,000 barrels per day in 2017.  However, the situation for Mexico’s net oil exports continued to deteriorate in 2018 as its domestic oil supply fell to a new low at the end of the year.

According to several sources, the BP 2018 Statistical Review, IEA’s OMR Reports, and the EIA’s data on World Oil Production, Mexico became a net oil importer in November 2018:

I find it strange that this has not yet been mentioned in the news as it is a very critical factor for the future of Mexico.  Now, I would like to qualify that the data I am using is accurate.  I found Mexico’s total petroleum production and consumption data from the EIA, the U.S. Energy Information Agency’s World Oil Production Browser, the IEA’s, the International Energy Agency OMR Reports, and BP’s 2018  Statistical Review.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The EIA’s Optimistic Outlook

The EIA’s Optimistic Outlook

Most of the data below is taken from from the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook. The data through February, 2019 is the EIA’s best estimate of past production and all data from March 2019 through December 2020 is the EIA’s best estimate of future production. However in most cases February production is highly speculative so I drew the “projection” line between January and February.

Understand the above chart is Total Liquids, not C+C as I usually post. As you can see the EIA expects world petroleum liquids to keep climbing ever upwards.

This is the EIA’s data for OPEC all liquids with Production data from April 2019 through December 2020.

Notice the EIA expects OPEC production to keep declining through December 2020. Also they expect total liquids to decline slightly faster than crude only. This is interesting since neither condensate nor other liquids are subject to OPEC quotas.

About two years ago I made note that the EIA expected Non-OPEC to plateau but they expected OPEC to keep increasing into the future. Now they have completely reversed themselves as they expect all future growth, at least for the next two years, to come from Non-OPEC countries.

The below  chart is from the EIA’a Monthly Energy review and is C+C through November 2018.

Virtually all crude oil increase since 2016 has come from three countries, USA, Russia and Canada. The spike upward (circled) in October and November 2018 was partially due to OPEC prepping for cuts. Every OPEC country made heroic efforts to increase productio during those two months in order to increase their quota. Quotas were set in December.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

Trump Senate

In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported.

Monthly net trade of crude oil in the Gulf Coast region (the difference between gross exports and gross imports) fell from a high in early 2007 of 6.6 million b/d of net imports to 0.4 million b/d of net exports in December 2018. As gross exports of crude oil from the Gulf Coast hit a record 2.3 million b/d, gross imports of crude oil to the Gulf Coast in December—at slightly less than 2.0 million b/d—were the lowest level since March 1986.

U.S. oil production hit a staggering 12.1 million b/d in February, while that amount has been projected to stay around that production mark in the mid-term then increase in the coming years. The U.S. is the new global oil production leader, followed by Russia and Saudi Arabia, while Saudi Arabia is still the world’s largest oil exporter – a factor that still gives Riyadh considerable leverage, particularly as it works with Russia, and other partners as part of the so-called OPEC+ group of producers. However, Saudi Arabia’s decades-long role of market swing producers has now been replaced by this coalition of producers, reducing Riyadh’s power both geopolitically and in global oil markets. In short, what Saudi Arabia could once do on its own, it has to do with several partners.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production, particularly in the Gulf Coast region, is still increasing. In November 2018, U.S. Gulf Coast crude oil production set a new record of 7.7 million b/d, the IEA report added.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Census Bureau, Treasury, EIA Detail American Insolvency

Census Bureau, Treasury, EIA Detail American Insolvency

Since 2007, US births and net immigration have consistently and unexpectedly fallen sharply.  Over the same span, US federal debt and unfunded liabilities have soared while federal tax receipts, as a percentage of the federal debt and unfunded liabilities, continue declining.  Total US energy consumption also peaked in ’07 and continues declining in contradiction to those soaring asset valuations.

Simply put, this article details an American insolvency and the ongoing attempt to print and inflate away this reality.  America has shown it isn’t afraid of (mis)using this digital printing press via collusion among the Federal Reserve, Treasury, and the Federal Government to disguise the simple truth that America is bankrupt and incapable of meeting its present and future obligations absent unlimited and unending monetization.

Demographic Development and Population Growth
According to the latest 2017 Census projection, the Census expects a near halving of population growth…or 50 million fewer Americans than it expected just 8 years earlier.  But critically, nearly all the projected declines are among the under 45 year old population while the 65+ year old population growth is still on track to swell.

Given the record low birth rates in 2017 and 2018, which came in 700 thousand annually below the ’08 Census projections, plus diminishing immigration, netting at least a half million annually below ’08 Census projections, the 2020 Census is likely to significantly further downgrade the potential for US population growth.  The impact for US economic growth, unfunded liabilities, and outgrowing personal, corporate, and federal debt is devastating.

What Happened?
From the mid 1990’s to 2007, a surge in immigration (both legal and illegal) and a rise in births resulted in significantly larger child bearing population and broad assumptions that America could outgrow its unfunded liabilities and debt issues. 

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – January 2019 Edition with data for November 2018

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – January 2019 Edition with data for November 2018

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The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on January 25th, with data for November 2018. The table above shows the percentage contribution of the main fuel sources to two decimal places for the last two months and the year 2018 to date.

In November, the absolute amount of electricity generated declined sightly as mild fall temperatures gave way to colder winter temperatures with demand for air conditioning giving way to demand for heating. Coal and Natural Gas between them, fueled 61.99% of US electricity generation in November, with the contributions from Nuclear and Conventional Hydroelectric edging up. The contribution from Natural Gas was down at 33.18%, from 38.11% in October, with the amount generated falling from 124,027 GWh to 106,804 GWh. Generation fueled by coal increased from 87,452 GWh to 92,738 GWh resulting in the percentage contribution rising from 26.87% to 28.81%. The amount of electricity generated by Nuclear plants increased from 59,397 GWh to 63,948 GWh with the resulting contribution actually rising from 18.25% to 19.87% in November. The amount generated by Conventional Hydroelectric increased from 18,779 GWh in October to 22,174 GWh in November with resulting contribution increasing to 6.89% as opposed to 5.77% in October. The amount generated by Wind decreased from 19,507 GWh to 17,991 GWh with the resulting contribution falling from 5.99% to 5.59% in November. The estimated total solar output fell from 7,625 GWh to 5,859 GWh with the resulting contribution falling from 2.34% to 1.82%. The contribution of zero carbon or carbon neutral sources rose from 34.10% in October to 36.97% in November.

The graph below shows the absolute production from the various sources as well as the total amount generated (right axis).

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 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – December 2018 Edition with data for October

EIA’s Electric Power Monthly – December 2018 Edition with data for October

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The EIA released the latest edition of their Electric Power Monthly on December 26th, with data for October 2018. The table above shows the percentage contribution of the main fuel sources to two decimal places for the last two months and the year to date.

In October, as usual for this time of the year, the absolute amount of electricity generated continued to decline with the mid summer demand for air conditioning falling away further. Coal and Natural Gas between them, fueled 64.98% of US electricity generation in October, with the contributions from most other major sources edging up slightly. The contribution from Natural Gas was down at 38.11%, from 40.01% in September, with the amount generated falling from 142,745 GWh to 124,027 GWh. Generation fueled by coal declined from 96,743 Gwh to 87,452 GWh resulting in the percentage contribution falling from 27.12% to 26.87%. The amount of electricity generated by Nuclear plants decreased from 64,725 GWh to 59,397 GWh with the resulting contribution actually rising very slightly from 18.14% to 18.25% in October. The amount generated by conventional hydroelectric increased from 18,663 GWh in September to 18,779 GWh in October with resulting contribution increasing to 5.77% as opposed to 5.23% in September. The amount generated by wind increased from 16,022 GWh to 19,507 GWh with the resulting contribution rising from 4.49% to 5.99% in September. The estimated total solar output fell from 9,153 GWh to 7,625 GWh with the resulting contribution falling from 2.57% to 2.34%. The contribution of zero carbon or carbon neutral sources rose from 32.01% in September to 34.10% in October.

The graph below shows the absolute production from the various sources as well as the total amount generated (right axis).

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…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What’s Behind The Crash In Crude?

What’s Behind The Crash In Crude?

Basra oil terminal

Oil prices crashed to new one-year lows on Tuesday, dragged down by a deepening sense of global economic gloom as well as fears of oversupply in the oil market itself.

The reasons for the sudden meltdown were multiple. Rising crude oil inventories and expected increases in shale production weighed on oil prices, but the price crash was accentuated by the broader selloff in financials.

Genscape said that inventories are rising, which has raised fears of tepid demand amid soaring supply growth. “The Cushing number came in higher than anticipated … it’s definitely pointing to the concern that there’s more supply and demand is weakening,” said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, according to Reuters. “The market is still very nervous about that.”

Crude prices fell 4 percent on Monday and about 7 percent on Tuesday. WTI dropped below $47 per barrel and Brent fell to the $56 handle.

The EIA said in its latest Drilling Productivity Report that it expects U.S. shale production to top 8.1 million barrels per day (mb/d) in January, rising by a massive 134,000 bpd month-on-month. The Permian alone will see production rise by 73,000 bpd next month. By way of context, the gains in the Permian are bigger than even some of the large monthly declines that we have seen in Venezuela, for instance.

Still, with WTI dropping below $50 per barrel, shale drillers will start to face increasing financial strain. That could force a slowdown in the shale patch. “We’re probably going to see a supply slowdown in the U.S.,” Michael Loewen, a commodities strategist at Scotiabank, told Bloomberg. “I do think that producers will react.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

No, The U.S. Is Not A Net Exporter Of Crude Oil

No, The U.S. Is Not A Net Exporter Of Crude Oil

Oil tanker at sea

Last week Bloomberg created quite a stir with this story: The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years. I have seen a number of follow-up stories that praised the significance of this development, but others laughed it off as misleading or incorrect.

There is some truth to both viewpoints. Yes, the headline is somewhat misleading and requires some context. But there continues to be a trend in the direction of energy independence for the U.S. So, today I want to break down the numbers so readers can understand the truth about U.S. petroleum production, consumption, and exports.

Domestic Crude Production Has Surged

The Bloomberg story is based on data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). Each week the EIA publishes detailed statistics on U.S. oil production, consumption, exports, and inventories in a report called the Weekly Petroleum Status Report. So, let’s go straight to the source.

For the week ending 11/30/18, the EIA reported that the U.S. produced 11.7 million barrels per day (BPD) of crude oil. That represents a 2 million BPD increase from the year-ago number. This number is generally accepted even by those who believe the Bloomberg headline was misleading.

Further down in the report, the category of Products Supplied is listed at 20.5 million BPD. This is approximate U.S. crude oil consumption for the week. Thus, as some skeptics of the story suggested, the bottom line is that the U.S. is burning more than 20 million BPD while producing less than 12 million BPD. Thus, the conclusion for some was that the U.S. isn’t close to being energy independent.

Other Supply

But there is important context between these numbers. First, the 20.5 million BPD is a fairly accurate representation of U.S. consumption, but there is a large U.S. production number that isn’t included in the crude oil production numbers.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Is Gasoline Demand Really Slipping?

Is Gasoline Demand Really Slipping?

Gas pump

Genscape’s Weekly Gasoline Demand Report data shows relatively flat growth in weekly year-on-year demand for September through November. On the other hand, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) Weekly Products Supplied data has shown year-on-year declines over the same period despite lower gasoline prices.

Our data shows U.S. total motor gasoline spot prices averaged $1.56/gal on November 28, down almost $0.70/gal from the high of $2.25/gal on October 2, pushing prices to the lowest level since June 30, 2017. Gasoline demand generally increases during prolonged periods of low prices, casting doubt on the demand declines.

What’s Going On?

Genscape analyzed this discrepancy and found the root cause lies in the methodology differences between our data and the EIA. While our data is based on actual gasoline liftings from rack locations headed to gas stations/consumption points, EIA Product Supplied data, both weekly and monthly, is a calculation of implied demand for refined products. The EIA uses a combination of survey components, production, inputs, stock change, ethanol adjustment, imports, and exports in a formula to estimate demand.

This disparity between the two numbers appears to be related to the recent decrease in gasoline imports and increase in gasoline export levels, two factors that the EIA includes in its formula to calculate Products Supplied. By adding imports and subtracting exports, this shift change in recent import/export patterns has had a depressive effect on the Weekly EIA Products Supplied level, showing declining year-on-year demand during a time of sharply falling prices at the pump. The basis for the Genscape Weekly Gasoline Demand Report is total U.S. rack liftings, sourced from our Supply Side data. These rack liftings represent the movements of gasoline from secondary (rack) terminals to retail stations.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

What Crashing Refining Margins Mean For Oil Markets

What Crashing Refining Margins Mean For Oil Markets

Refinery

Oil prices have plunged to one-year lows, but refiners in certain parts of the U.S. are not benefitting from cheaper crude.

According to new data from the EIA, refining margins for motor gasoline have fallen to five-year lows. “Flattening year-over-year growth in gasoline demand in the United States, combined with high levels of refinery output, have contributed to low or negative motor gasoline refining margins for refiners along the East and Gulf Coasts,” the EIA said on November 27. Gasoline refining margins have been declining since August.

In November, U.S. gasoline demand is expected to have averaged 9.2 million barrels per day (mb/d), down 262,000 bpd from a year earlier.

(Click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, prices for distillates, such as diesel, are much higher. The discrepancy is notable, and the markets for gasoline and distillates have diverged sharply this year. The forthcoming 2020 International Maritime Organization regulations on sulfur content in maritime fuels is set to push extremely dirty heavy fuel oil out of the mix for ship-owners. One of the most important replacements for fuel oil be diesel and gasoil – in other words, distillate demand is set to spike at the start of 2020. In anticipation of these regulations, distillate prices are seeing upward pressure.

With diesel prices on the rise and gasoline prices heading in the other direction, refiners might want to maximize diesel output. However, things aren’t that simple. As the EIA notes, for every barrel of crude oil processed in a refinery, it tends to yield twice as much gasoline as it does diesel. “As a result, although gasoline margins have been low recently, refiners cannot completely stop making gasoline in favor of other petroleum products, such as distillate,” the EIA said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Oil Falls On Crude Inventory Build

Oil Falls On Crude Inventory Build

Oil jack

Crude oil prices slipped further down today after the Energy Information Administration reported crude oil inventories for the week to November 23 had added 3.6 million barrels. That’s compared with a build of 4.9 million barrels a week earlier.

The EIA figures came after yesterday the American Petroleum Institute reported an estimated inventory increase of 3.453 million barrels, which failed to affect prices in any significant way.

EIA also said gasoline inventories last week had declined by 800,000 barrels and distillate fuel inventories had added 2.6 million barrels. A week earlier, the authority estimated a decline of 1.3 million barrels in gasoline and a 100,000-barrel decline in distillate fuel inventories.

Meanwhile, production is hitting new highs and this will continue, according to most estimates, unless oil prices continue declining at a fast pace. The likelihood of this happening is relatively low, however. OPEC is meeting next week in Vienna to discuss a new round of production cuts and most analysts expect the cuts to be agreed with Russia also joining in again.

However, Morgan Stanley, for one, sees a 33-percent chance of the cartel failing or refusing to agree a production cut, in which case prices will definitely slump more, pressured by bleak economic outlooks and concerns about a crude oil oversupply. The argument against a production cut is simple enough: market share. It’s no wonder some OPEC members have already spoken against a cut, notably Libya, which said it expected to be granted an exemption from any cuts.

Besides the OPEC meeting, oil market observers would be watching the G20 meeting, where Russia may or may not give a clear indication whether it will join any cut agreements. Just like last time, Moscow would be a crucial ally for the cartel if it decides to join the cuts or a deal-breaker if it decides to sit these out.

 

WTF Just Happened with Natural Gas?

WTF Just Happened with Natural Gas?

If you blinked, you missed it.

The price of natural gas for December delivery plunged 19% on Thursday, the biggest percentage plunge since February 2003.

This comes after futures prices had skyrocketed 20% on Wednesday to $4.931 per million Btu intraday, before settling at $4.837, the highest settlement price since February 2014 – when “polar vortex” entered into everyday language in the US. It was a gain of 19% for the day, the biggest percentage gain since 2004. Today’s plunge took the price back to $3.899 at the moment, where it had been on Monday. If you blinked you missed it:

The spike yesterday was driven by “a sharp cold revision in the winter weather outlook,” according to a commodities strategist at Morgan Stanley, cited by Bloomberg. “We see modest downside from here assuming current weather forecasts, but a very wide range of potential short-term prices,” he said.

The weather outlook hasn’t really changed overnight, but instead of a “modest downside” move, natural gas performed a historic plunge today.

Speculative fever goes both ways. Today was impacted more than anything by the hangover from yesterday’s spike that completed a 45% run-up since November 2. Time to cash out.

And then there was the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report, released this morning by the EIA. It was a cold shower, after the drunken party yesterday.

Turns out, thanks to surging production, 39 billion cubic feet were addedduring the latest reporting week to underground storage facilities across the US. Over the past five years on average – with the colder season having already started at this week in November — natural gas levels in storage would drop by 15.6 billion cubic feet during that week.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

U.S. Oil Production Is Set To Soar Past 12 Million Bpd

U.S. Oil Production Is Set To Soar Past 12 Million Bpd

shale oil

Rising shale production is putting the United States on track to hit the 12 million bpd oil production mark sooner than previously forecast, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its November Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO).

Next year’s U.S. crude oil output is now expected to average 12.1 million bpd, up from a forecast of 11.8 million bpd just a month ago in the October STEO.

U.S. crude oil production reached a new monthly record of 11.3 million bpd in August 2018, exceeding 11 million bpd for the first time. Production in August was 290,000 bpd higher than expected in the October STEO, and it was this higher level that raised the baseline for the EIA’s forecast for production in 2019.

Comparing the forecasts in the latest STEO with the October estimates, the EIA now sees U.S. crude oil production hitting the 12-million-bpd mark in the second quarter of 2019 rather than the fourth quarter.

The EIA raised its 2018 production forecast by 1.5 percent compared to the October STEO, to 10.9 million bpd, and the 2019 forecast by 2.6 percent from 11.76 million bpd to 12.06 million bpd.

While the EIA lifted its projections for U.S. oil production, it revised down its forecasts for oil prices in 2019. In the November outlook, it forecasts Brent Crude prices of $72 per barrel in 2019 on average, which is $3 a barrel lower than previously forecast. The EIA sees WTI Crudeprices to average $65/b next year, down by $5/b from the previous estimate.

“The lower crude oil price forecasts are partly the result of higher expected crude oil production in the United States in the second half of 2018 and in 2019, which is expected to contribute to growth in global oil inventory and put downward pressure on crude oil prices,” the EIA said.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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