The United States Oil Fund (NYSEArca: USO), which tracks West Texas Intermediate crude oil futures, rallied Thursday on news of attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, but there is some other news oil investors may want to consider.
Earlier this week, the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) cut its forecasts for 2019 world oil demand growth and U.S. crude production in light of the growing trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies that have crippled economic activity. Trade tensions also weighed on the energy market Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was pushing back a trade deal with China.
Another catalyst: the U.S. is now home to the world’s largest oil reserves.
“In its latest annual report of world recoverable oil resources, Rystad Energy finds that the United States currently holds 293 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources,” reports OilPrice.com. “This is 20 billion barrels more than Saudi Arabia and almost 100 billion barrels more than Russia. Rystad Energy’s estimate of US recoverable oil is also five times more than officially reported proven reserves as published in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019.”
The U.S. can continue bolstering its position as a global leader in oil production and reserves.
Looking ahead, fundamentals are improving. The International Energy Agency projects consumption to increase each quarter of 2019 year-over-year, albeit at a slower-than-usual pace for the first quarter. Meanwhile, on the supply side, Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries have been cutting output. Additionally, U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela have reduced further bets on international supplies.
“Tight oil plays in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico now hold 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources, according to Rystad Energy’s analysis,” notes Rystad. “Shale/tight resources in the Permian thus remain largely flat from the previous year, as production has been replaced through improvements in well configuration, largely driven by supermajors increasing their footprint in the Permian Midland Basin and by fine-tuning operations.”
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