Production Gain, Price Decline Lead To News Stories

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Many news stories have surfaced about the increase in oil and natural gas production in the U.S.,  the resulting decline in price, and the fallout that comes with such a dramatic drop in oil prices.

I have received calls from reporters with newspapers in Texas and beyond, oil and gas trade press, and even a call from a producer with the national television news magazine “60 Minutes.”

Because oil and gas is such a hot news topic in so many different areas, I thought I would touch briefly on some of the stories that were in the news last week.

First, the U.S. House passed the Senate version of the Keystone XL pipeline and it now goes to President Obama for his signature or veto. Look for Congress to pass more energy legislation soon dealing with removing the ban on crude oil exports and expediting permits for LNG terminals.

Next, experts who make their living predicting crude oil futures price disagree about where is the bottom and how long it will take for oil prices to rebound. Crude oil futures for March delivery on the NYMEX ended $1.18, or 2.4 percent, lower on Feb. 11 to settle at $48.84 per barrel, falling for the second day in a row after the weekly EIA inventory report showed stockpiles reached a new record high.

Oil prices have shown signs of stability in the past two weeks after plunging to nearly six-year lows last month amid a global supply glut. US crude stockpiles rose by a slightly bigger-than-expected 4.9 million barrels to 417.9 million barrels last week, according to the EIA. The amount of oil stored by refiners, traders and other companies stands at the highest level in about 80 years, according to EIA data. Many analysts expect supplies to continue rising in the coming weeks as refineries process less crude. Many plants shut down units in the spring to perform seasonal repairs ahead of the summer-driving season, when demand for fuels such as gasoline increases.


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