U.S. GAS UPDOWN
EIA - Natural gas net imports (imports minus exports) set a record low of 685 billion cubic feet (Bcf) in 2016, continuing a decline for the 9th consecutive year. In recent years both U.S. natural gas production and consumption have increased, although production has grown slightly faster, reducing the reliance on natural gas imports and lowering domestic prices. Based on preliminary data, 2016 domestic dry natural gas production was 26,459 Bcf, a 2% decrease from the record level of 27,060 Bcf set in 2015, but more than 40% higher than production levels 10 years ago. Preliminary data for 2016 show record total natural gas consumption of 27,495 Bcf, mostly as a result of increases in the electric power sector.
Natural gas exports continued to grow; U.S. exports in 2016 were more than three times larger than the level 10 years ago. Infrastructure improvements, including natural gas pipelines and facilities for liquefying natural gas for export, assisted suppliers in meeting increased demand from foreign markets. The United States is expected to become a net exporter of natural gas on an average annual basis by 2018.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.