Real gross domestic product -- the value of the production of goods and services in the United States, adjusted for price changes -- decreased at an annual rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter of 2015, according to the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the fourth quarter, real GDP increased 2.2 percent.
An increasingly assertive China has warned that World War 3 is "inevitable" unless the United States stops meddling in the South China Sea affairs. Earlier this week, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) said in a new white paper that it is going to up the ante in the South China Sea. In a sign of its growing self-confidence, Beijing said that it would now focus less on defensive capabilities, and step up efforts to build offensive capabilities.
U.S. Rig Count is down 10 rigs from last week to 875, with oil rigs down 13 to 646, gas rigs up 3 to 225, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 4.
The US and EU sanctions are primarily targeted at the country's oil industry, for very obvious reasons. Russia provides about 30% of Europe's gas, so it's simply not in the EU's interests to compromise Gazprom's ability to produce and export gas.
Russian natural gas producer Gazprom put Ukraine's total gas debt at almost $29.5 billion on Thursday, ratcheting up pressure in a gas pricing dispute with the country, which is fighting a pro-Moscow rebellion on its eastern outskirts.
LNG is expected to surpass iron ore as the second most valuable physical commodity after oil this year, according to analysts at Goldman Sachs, who predict it will top $120bn.
OPEC, which controls a third of the global oil market, and Russia, which produces another 12 percent, are unlikely to reverse their output strategy.
Norway's previously long-standing cordial relations with Russia have deteriorated to the point that there is a real chance that simmering feelings could escalate, leading to a breakdown of cooperation in the oil and gas sector, writes Platts.
The current recoverable volume of oil in fields and discoveries exceeds the estimated figure in 2005, and it is also presumed that more oil remains to be discovered. This is the result of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate’s (NPD’s) review of the resource basis in a select number of fields and discoveries on the Norwegian shelf between 2005 and 2014.
The European Union is forging, albeit with considerable debate and obstacles due to the national strategies of its member states, a long-term Energy Union that has natural gas as its basic component. EU energy diversification tools, which include LNG, see LNG steadily emerging as a basic method to achieve its Energy Union goals.