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Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham

Nick Cunningham is a freelance writer on oil and gas, renewable energy, climate change, energy policy and geopolitics. He is based in Pittsburgh, PA.

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Will Trump Open Up New Oil And Gas Reserves?

Rig

Friday November 11, 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. Oil price crash drains billionaires

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- Oil prices retreated sharply last week after the EIA reported a massive buildup in crude oil inventories, a record high gain of over 14 million barrels.
- WTI and Brent crashed from around $50 down to below $45 per barrel.
- The 10 percent loss on the week was the steepest weekly drop since the beginning of the year.
- The price drop erased $4.6 billion in wealth from the world’s top oil billionaires, according to Bloomberg, which include Harold Hamm (potential name for Energy Secretary under a Trump administration), Kelcy Warren and Jeffery Hilldebrand.

2. New oil reserves could be opened up

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- President-elect Donald Trump has not made oil and gas a priority, but when he has talked about the subject he sounds as if he will be a friend to upstream producers.
- Trump could move to open up new territories for oil and gas drilling. The U.S. holds about 232 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and gas reserves on federal lands and along the continental shelf.
- However nearly two-thirds of that is off limits, including some major offshore regions – the Atlantic Ocean, the Arctic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
- Offshore Alaska alone is thought to hold 50 billion barrels of oil reserves.

3. OPEC steps up oil exports

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- A few weeks away from the key November meeting in Vienna, OPEC is increasing oil production and exports.
- Output jumped to 33.5 million barrels per day in October, according to S&P Global Platts. The IEA says OPEC’s production actually reached 33.8 mb/d.
- ClipperData, reported on by the WSJ, finds that oil ships moved a record 48.4 mb/d by sea in October, which is 13 percent higher than a year earlier.
- Rising output makes agreement on cuts even more difficult. OPEC promised to agree to cut to a range between 32.5 and 33.0 mb/d, which was only 200,000 to 700,000 barrels per day lower than its September production levels. Now…




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