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Low Oil Prices Have Sent Demand Soaring

Refinery

Friday March 23, 2018

In the latest edition of the Numbers Report, we’ll take a look at some of the most interesting figures put out this week in the energy sector. Each week we’ll dig into some data and provide a bit of explanation on what drives the numbers.

Let’s take a look.

1. Oil demand soaring

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- Oil demand rose by 1.5 million barrels per day (mb/d) in 2017, up from 1.3 mb/d in 2016, and sharply higher than the 0.9 mb/d annual average between 2006 and 2015.
- Cheap oil led to a spike in auto sales, with some parts of the developing world and even Europe starting to gain a taste for less fuel-efficient SUVs rather than compact cars.
- Strong oil demand ultimately meant that global greenhouse gas emissions jumped in 2017 for the first time in three years.
- China and India accounted for 40 percent of the emissions increase, while the U.S. actually posted another year of declining emissions, thanks to renewable energy and natural gas edging coal out of the market.

2. FERC tax change hits MLPs hard

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- The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an obscure ruling that takes away one of the key tax benefits offered by master-limited partnerships (MLPs). MLPs had proliferated as an attractive corporate structure in recent years, particularly in the pipeline business.
- Until last week’s ruling, MLPs could essentially…

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