Last month news reports out of China surfaced that the nation might see its natural gas supply fail to meet 35 percent of the demand in 2011, and the shortage could persist through 2021.
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Oil levels were nearing levels that would likely prompt an increase in supply from the OPEC. Such an action would likely cause oil prices to drop. Furthermore, evidence of a bottoming out of the recession is still a bit patchy. The latest data on industrial production for some of the larger countries continues to remain negative.
Crude oil production is Canada is expected to double within the next three decades, despite current tight finances and a slower pace of development in the oil sands, a new report has said. In a best case scenario, oil production is forecast to rise to 3.3 million barrels per day by 2015 from 2.7 million barrels last year, and up to 4.2 million barrels by 2025. Solely in the oil sands, production is expected to increase by 83 per cent to 2.2 million barrels per day by 2015, and climb to 3.3 million barrels per day by 2025.
Oil rose for a second day on Wednesday, after an industry group reported U.S. crude stockpiles dropped for the second week in a row and the dollar declined. Oil has climbed 34 percent this year, tracking global equity markets on optimism that an economic recovery will spur demand for fuel. Additional support for crude prices came from the dollar, which fell to the lowest level against the euro since March, bolstering demand for commodities as a hedge against inflation.
It is obvious that a barrel price below $60 on the NYMEX is bad news for oil companies. Part of the drop reflects a strengthening American dollar, but recent demand forecast revisions are bleak. Governments, companies and investors think a prolonged recession or period of low growth is in the offing, and everyone should take note.
Along with OPEC production cuts and healthy company numbers, (both discussed below) the market is clearly disjointed. The tenor of discussions in the business pages and networks lately suggests that Yeats was right, and the centre cannot hold. Recession or recovery, echo boom or bust, few are predicting prolonged instability somewhere between these extremes.