U.S. OIL DECLINED
North Dakota's oil production declined in February for the second consecutive month as drilling new wells slackened amid low oil prices.
State regulators said Tuesday that February's output was just short of 1.18 million barrels per day, down 50,435 daily barrels since December, which was the state's all-time high. It was the first consecutive two-month drop since January 2011.
The number of rigs drilling for North Dakota oil and gas dropped to 91 this month, down from 108 in March and 160 in February, according to data released by the state Department of Mineral Resources. The peak of drillings was 370 rigs in October 2012, the department said in its Director's Cut report.
The average wellhead price for North Dakota crude oil fell to $31.47 per barrel in March, but has recovered to $36.25 per barrel, the report said. The average price is based on light sweet crude prices posted at a Twin Cities refinery, minus delivery costs.
The report said the number of uncompleted wells in North Dakota rose to an estimated 900 at the end of February as drillers decided to hold off on the final step — injecting water, sand and chemicals to free gas and oil in the Bakken or Three Forks shale layers.
Oil field operators are postponing this work to avoid initial high oil production at low prices and to comply with the state's recent requirement to reduce flaring of natural gas, the report by division Director Lynn Helms said.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.