Crude oil inventories at high levels

Petrol pump.jpgThe blog’s argument that there is no shortage of crude oil seems finally to be going mainstream.

Equally, its concern over the impact of today’s high prices, especially by comparison with natural gas, is also now starting to be highlighted.

Thus the Wall Street Journal notes:

“Oil inventories in the Western world are now high.

“U.S. net imports of oil have dropped on weaker demand and surging domestic production. So even though stocks have remained relatively flat since early 2009, the number of days of import cover has jumped. As of October, inventories covered 224 days of net imports, the highest level since early 1995.

“In Europe, at the sharper end of the (potential Iran) embargo, International Energy Agency data show a less benign, but hardly alarming picture. On a 12-month rolling average to take account of seasonal swings, stocks covered roughly 140 days of net imports in October. That is 10 days less than in mid 2010, but in-line with the average of the past five years.”Meanwhile the New York Times reports:

“Nationwide, the average household using oil spent $2,298 on heat last year, compared with $724 spent by gas users and $957 spent by electricity users, according to the Energy Department. This year, heating oil users are expected to spend 3.7% more than last year, while natural gas customers are expected to spend 7.3% less and electricity users will spend 2.4% less.”

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