March 18, 2016: Energy Matters: OIL and GAS

Featured story: As OPEC weakens, it appears that Russia is either trying to lead the cartel or organize a new one. Last month, Russia called the first meeting with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Venezuela; the second meeting with a larger group of participants will take place very soon. 

 Top 3 oil producing nations:

1. Saudi Arabia produces about 11.75 million barrels of oil each day, or 13.24 percent of the total.
2. The US, which recently overtook Russia, produces a bit more than 12 percent of global output.
3. Russia produces about 10.3 million barrels of oil per day, a little less than 12 percent of the total.

- US shale oil production in April will be the second-largest monthly decline on record, and the sixth straight monthly decrease. (Note: the price of oil per barrel is starting to go up, but analysts warn that it is too early to call the bottom on oil prices. For instance, the UAE Energy Minister thinks that the price correction will be complete by the end of this calendar year.)

- Gas is cheap - about $1.73 USD on average today - and yet, gasoline consumption is lower than when it was $4 per gallon in 2007.

- When oil is at $30 per barrel, all consumers benefit, and large oil corporations have the reserves to survive. On the other hand, small oil production companies in the US and in Canada (1 - 24 employees) lose, on average, $5 for every barrel produced - but they keep producing because they need the cash flow to meet basic expenses, like payroll.

  What is the right price for energy? Ian Parry, a University of Chicago trained economist now at the International Monetary Fund, has attempted to answer the question in a thoughtful study, Getting Energy Prices Right. Premium Members of the American Energy Society have access to the nine page summary of the report.

Courtesy of Energy Matters, Eric Vettel, American Energy Society