[IWAR] US oil

From: Michael Wilson (MWILSON/0005514706at_private)
Date: Thu Jan 15 1998 - 11:06:58 PST

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                               U.S. rebuilds oil inventory
          Copyright ) 1998 Nando.net
          Copyright ) 1998 The Associated Press
       WASHINGTON (January 15, 1998 12:43 p.m. EST http://www.nando.net) -- The
       nation replenished its oil inventory last year, increasing imports as
       prices fell, the American Petroleum Institute reported Thursday.
       The booming economy fueled an increase in energy consumption in 1997,
       the industry group said.
       But Edward H. Murphy, API director of finance and statistics, declined
       to predict oil prices and supplies for this year.
       Asked if the economic problems in Asia will have an impact he said:
       "Really, nobody knows," even though most experts expect lower demand for
       In 1997, U.S. oil imports were up 4.4 percent with the increases coming
       primarily from Mexico, Venezuela and Canada as worldwide production
       exceeded the growth of oil use.
       As a result, U.S. petroleum inventories were built up at a rate of
       161,000 barrels per day in 1997 and ended the year at about 1 billion
       That's about 60 million barrels more than at the end of 1996, when
       inventory declined 80,000 barrels per day.
       "In retrospect, that was a wise decision" to reduce inventory when
       prices were high and replenish at lower costs, said Murphy.
       The average price of a barrel with 42 gallons of crude oil is $16.60, he
       said. A year ago it was $26.10.
       Murphy attributed the drop to increased production, including the return
       of Iraqi oil to the world market.
       Other findings of the group's annual report:
       --Oil production in the lower 48 states increased, though slightly, for
       the first time in six years due to the drilling of new wells and the use
       of new technology on deep wells in the Gulf of Mexico.
       --Alaskan production continued to decline.
       --Imports of crude oil and petroleum last year averaged 9.8 million
       barrels per day.
       --U.S. dependency on imported oil rose from 51.8 percent to 53.1 percent
       of supply.
       -- The biggest increases in demand were for diesel fuel, home heating
       oil, aviation fuel and chemicals.
       By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, Associated Press Writer

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