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OPEC’s revised world oil demand growth figure for 2006 was trimmed down to 1.4 million bpd, resulting in a full-year total of 84.6 million bpd. A rebound was expected in the second half of 2006. World oil supply is up 480,000 bpd with the non-OECD countries contributing well over half of the increase. Chinese supply remains strong, as disputes continue with Japan over the two countries’ Exclusive Economic Zones in the East China Sea. Although both countries signed the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in 1996, the UN stated they will not interject a territorial claim until May 2009.
Containing an estimated 26 Tcf of natural gas, the US Barnett Shale play is under regulatory revision. A 20-member task force advised the Fort Worth City Council in early May that it should increase the “buffer radius” between new wells and existing homes from 200 feet to 600 feet, with existing wells facing the same expansion. Voting could commence as early as this month.
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