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The 3 Most Important Numbers in Energy – 14th March 2014

The Insider’s weekly run-down of critical figures and happenings from around the energy world.

1970. Last year when Australian oil production was lower than the level for 2013—which came in at 71.9 million barrels.

That mark was down 18.6% from 2012, underscoring Australia’s problems with rapidly-declining oil output. The nation’s total petroleum and liquids production came in at just 140 million barrels for the year. Far lower than the national demand of 346 million barrels for crude oil and transport fuels.

The shortfall could be a major wake-up call for the government to stimulate exploration here. Look for possible drilling incentives coming down the pipeline.

80 to 100. Number of coal-to-olefins plants that analysts at Platts estimate are under construction in China.

The burgeoning Chinese petrochemical sector could be a darkhorse in the global coal market. If coal usage from these olefins facilities sucks up needed supplies from the domestic power market, expect significant shortages to follow.

This could affect not only Chinese coal markets, but also prices abroad as China’s coal buyers ramp up exports to fill the gap.

$2.3 billion. Amount Gulf of Mexico explorer Energy XXI (Nasdaq: EXXI) is paying to acquire EPL Oil & Gas (NYSE: EPL)—creating the largest producer and reserves holder in the shallow-water Gulf Shelf region.

As we noted last week, EPL has done a phenomenal job creating…

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