OIL PRICES: $40 - $50
According to OGE, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested that oil prices have probably bottomed out at about $40 per barrel after tumbling more than 20 percent in the past two months into a bear market.
"It's hard for me to imagine it going very much lower, but it could," he said Wednesday, according to the transcript of a conference call organized by Rock Creek Group, an investment advisory firm in Washington.
Greenspan sees oil trading in a range of about $40 to $50 a barrel over the next couple of years. A $50 price would be high enough to encourage new shale oil production in the U.S., he said.
Oil futures traded near $42 a barrel in New York on Thursday, down from a 2016 closing high of $51.23 on June 8.
Greenspan made the following additional points during the call:
China's economic system is "unsustainable" because the government effectively guarantees "everything" against loss. "They started going in the right direction" in trying to change that but "then they reversed course" in the face of political opposition, he said.
He was surprised by how strong automobile sales were last month, but he cautioned that there were limits on how far consumer spending could carry the economy while business investment was weak. "This is an unstable outlook," he said.
The U.S. federal government should be running a budget surplus, not a deficit, to build up funds to pay for retiring workers. The surplus should be 3 percent of gross domestic product or more, Greenspan said.
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REUTERS - Brent LCOc1 futures fell 43 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $79.14 a barrel by 0218 GMT, after climbing 35 cents on Tuesday. Last week, the global benchmark hit $80.50 a barrel, the highest since November 2014. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures eased 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, to $71.95 a barrel, having climbed on Tuesday to $72.83 a barrel, the highest since November 2014.
FT - Most oil majors can now cover dividends and capital expenditure at prices around $50 per barrel, meaning that, at $80, they make a healthy surplus.
EIA - The United States remained the world's top producer of petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons in 2017, reaching a record high. The United States has been the world's top producer of natural gas since 2009, when U.S. natural gas production surpassed that of Russia, and the world's top producer of petroleum hydrocarbons since 2013, when U.S. production exceeded Saudi Arabia’s. Since 2008, U.S. petroleum and natural gas production has increased by nearly 60%.
PLATTS - China became the largest contributor to global LNG consumption growth in 2017. It surpassed South Korea as the world's second largest LNG importer and its share of global LNG demand is expected to converge with that of Japan by 2030.