Nigeria's oil production steadies

Mar 27, 2011 12:00 AM

Nigeria steadied oil production at 2.4 mm barrels per day (bpd) and crude prices on the international market rose. Economists predicted that the world would keep consuming more oil even with the disasters in Japan and the Intifada in North Africa and the Middle East.

Major oil producers like Saudi Arabia have cranked up production to make up for lost Libyan oil. While this increases the flow of oil right now, it also cuts off spare production that could have been tapped later to meet increasing world demand.

Spare production capacity, which was thought to be around 5 mm bpd in early 2011, has since dropped to about 3 mm bpd.
Traders are carefully assessing economic strength in the US, which consumes about 22 % of the world's daily output.
High oil prices could hurt growth. American Government reports recently gave a mixed reading.

The US said home construction has nearly come to a halt and that companies trimmed orders for long-lasting manufactured goods. But it also added that oil demand keeps rising despite a 49-cent increase in pump price since beginning of 2011.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for May 2011 delivery settled at $ 105.40 per barrel (pb) on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

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