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EIA’s latest estimate of 2006 world oil demand is 84.9 million bpd. Chinese and US oil demand are now expected by EIA to run 250,000 and 430,000 bpd higher in second-quarter 2006, respectively. May’s world oil supply was up 445,000 bpd, with 270,000 bpd of that increase provided by members of OPEC. Meanwhile, the Natural Gas Supply Association forecasts that natural gas prices will stay flat this summer, due to slightly cooler weather forecast, compared to 2005’s 10th hottest summer on record. This will be offset by increased economic demand and flat output. US oil production continued to be down noticeably from a year earlier, although much of that is still due to some output remaining off-line in the Gulf of Mexico. The overall US drilling rig count is at its highest level for this time of year since 1985. By contrast, Canada’s May rig count was slightly under the same month total in 2005. International drilling is more than 5% ahead of last year’s pace, with the Middle East up 21%.
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