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OPEC Sees Non-OPEC Output Growing Even In The Face Of Low Oil Prices

Source: Wikimedia Commons    Author: Vladimir Menkov

According to a draft report of OPEC's long-term strategy that Reuters got a hold of, OPEC [Organization of Petroleum Exploration Countries] sees non-OPEC oil production growing to at least 2017 even as WTI [North American crude pricing benchmark] trades at $58 a barrel and Brent [international crude pricing benchmark] trades at $63 a barrel. A huge portion of that growth will come from North America, particularly from America's shale plays and Canada's oil sands. As you can see in the graph below, the United States was by far the biggest contributor to oil supply growth in 2014, with Iraq coming in at number two and Canada at number three. Going forward, OPEC sees shale oil and oil sands providing 45% of crude oil's supply growth through 2035, growing at a 6% rate per year. Massive improvements in technology, from steam-assisted gravity drainage operations in Alberta [an effective and economical way to extract heavy crude too deep in the ground to open-pit mine] to longer well laterals [longer horizontal reach] allowing shale producers to bring very productive wells online that generate much stronger returns, have allowed higher-cost producers in North America to substantially reduce their costs and thus ride out relatively low oil prices. Now OPEC has to decide whether it wants to cut its oil output during its June 5 meeting to try and shore up prices and thus their government coffers, or if it wants to keep the pressure on to see if it can force higher-cost producers to cut their production. We will have to see. To read more about the energy industry, check this out

Source: US Energy Information Administration

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