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OPEC Throws Shale a Lifeline

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Friday, September 30 2016

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. Fighting for China

(Click to enlarge)

- The battle for market share in China is hotter than ever, both because of the expected rise in Chinese oil demand and also because reduced U.S. imports leave exporters searching for markets.
- Saudi Arabia, long one of China’s top suppliers, has seen a rash of new competition for the Chinese market.
- Part of the reason is the rise of China’s private refiners, known as “teapots,” which have made up most of the 13.5 percent gain in Chinese oil imports this year. Saudi Arabia has dealt with Chinese state-owned companies, but other suppliers are taking advantage of demand from private teapot refiners.
- Angola has seen exports to China climb by about 15 percent because it offers a lower-sulfur variety of crude, The Wall Street Journal reports.
- Russia has also offered more flexible terms than Saudi Arabia, such as allowing Chinese teapots to make payments within four months of delivery. Saudi Arabia has not been as generous, and as a result, it is seeing competitors make inroads into China.

2. Production costs falling everywhere

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