Crude oil prices are hanging in a tight trading range as the market tries to balance record U.S. petroleum inventories versus an outlook for a global tightening of supply as OPEC lays the groundwork for an extension of production cuts.
Removing export restrictions would increase domestic production-—8 million barrels per day in April 2014—-because of increasing domestic crude oil prices. Estimates range from an additional 130,000 to 3.3 million barrels per day on average from 2015 through 2035.
As Hurricane Isaac passes through the area over the next several days the industry will be able to quickly assess the condition of the oil and Nat Gas facilities. Until then, it focuses on inventories.
Rising gasoline prices and production cuts tied to a tropical storm churning through the Gulf of Mexico have some energy analysts predicting the U.S. will announce a release from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve.