United States: US production ///

Crude and condensate production for the US is slightly down, which is normal. But it is not for normal reasons. It could have been flat to slightly up, which, considering that US production usually declines, would be an impressive feat, and would no doubt be due to high oil prices. However, the extraordinary hurricanes of 2005 hurt US production. The odd thing is that, by comparison, those events made 2006 production look like a significant gain of 2.6% had taken place in the Lower 48, including offshore areas. If the unusual offshore comparison is eliminated, Lower 48 production is still likely to be positive for 2006 over 2005, but only by about 1%. Recall that, after a brief respite in 2003, Alaska had slipped back into its previous 6% to 10% decline mode, as expected. Then the North Slope pipeline leaks hit last year, making a bad decline situation worse.

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