“If we are victorious in one more battle with the Romans, we shall be utterly ruined,” King Pyrrhus of Epirus complained after winning exceptionally bloody engagements in 280 and 279 BC.
Pyrrhus lost many of his men, most of his generals and had no reserves left, while “the army of the Romans, as if from a fountain gushing forth indoors, was easily and speedily filled up again” according to Plutarch.
Liquefied petroleum gases (LPG) are the fastest-growing category of hydrocarbon exports from the United States, with volumes up almost four-fold since 2012.
Exports have grown from less than 200,000 barrels per day in 2012 to an average of 743,000 bpd so far in 2015 and as much as 821,000 bpd in July, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Traffic on U.S. roads is growing at the fastest rate in almost two decades, as cheap gasoline, coupled with a strong economy, encourages motorists to use their cars more.
U.S. motorists drove 3.12 trillion miles in the 12 months ending in September 2015, an increase of 3.4 percent from the same period ending September 2014.
Hedge funds and other money managers had amassed short positions in U.S. crude oil amounting to 154 million barrels by last Tuesday according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).
Short positions have increased more than 70 percent since the middle of October and stand at the highest level since August, the CFTC showed in its latest commitments of traders report published on Friday (tmsnrt.rs/1NmVszh).
“If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” according to Herbert Stein, former chief economist to U.S. President Richard Nixon (“What I think: essays on economics, politics and life” 1998).
Stein’s law is one of the most simple but important statements in economic theory, yet it is remarkable how often it is forgotten.
Nearly 3 billion barrels of crude petroleum and refined products are being stored by oil firms in the advanced economies according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).
Commentators have seized on the 3 billion figure as a shorthand way to convey how oversupplied the oil market has become.
California motorists drive almost 1 billion miles every day, and in doing so consume around 40 million gallons of gasoline and 8 million gallons of diesel.
Californians use their cars a bit less than the average U.S. resident but the state’s population is so large it is one of the largest driving markets in the world.
Unusually mild weather across the United States this autumn has sharply reduced heating demand and contributed to the substantial oversupply of both natural gas and heating oil.
Heating demand has been 27 percent lower than the long-term average so far this heating season according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
U.S. natural gas production hit a new record in August, despite the deepening slump in gas prices and a fall in the number of rigs targeting gas formations.
The failure of gas production to respond to lower prices and a falling rig count has left many analysts wondering if it heralds the same problem in the oil market – worsening oversupply.
(John Kemp is a Reuters market analyst. The views expressed are his own)
By John Kemp
Nov 10 Oil prices are unlikely to rise consistently above $80 per barrel before the end of the decade, the International Energy Agency (IEA) predicted in the World Energy Outlook published on Tuesday.
Slower growth in demand coupled with the transformational impact of shale on production costs and increased supplies from Iran and Iraq will ensure the market rebalances slowly and at lower prices.