Government predicts shale slowdown as oil falls

NEW YORK (AP) — As oil's long slide continued, the Energy Department forecast Tuesday that production from U.S. shale operators will begin to tail off in the second half of the year.

The decline would mark the first such drop in what has been a 6-year boom in U.S. onshore crude production.

The price of oil fell Tuesday, dipping briefly under $45, before ending down 18 cents to $45.89 a barrel. That's the lowest since the spring of 2009, and a drop of 58 percent over the past six months.

Associated Press

Crude exports amendment to Keystone gets weak reception

An expected Keystone XL bill amendment by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, to repeal the 1970s-era ban on crude oil exports got a wary reception on Tuesday by advocates for the pipeline. They said they hoped to approve the legislation without controversial changes.

"It might complicate our debate on Keystone and the passage of Keystone," said Sen. Lisa Murkowksi, R-Alaska, who is pushing for passage of the approval bill as chair of the Senate energy committee, although in the past she also has called for lifting the export ban.


Alberta likely to face recession due to low oil prices

TORONTO (AP) — Alberta's oil-heavy economy will likely dip into recession as oil prices plunge, according to a report by a Canadian economic think-tank.

The Conference Board of Canada said the western Canadian province's latest employment and new housing start numbers are holding steady, but that Alberta will slip into recession if oil prices stay low.


Tensions boil over in Venezuela in president's absence

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — A high-profile Venezuelan opposition leader is calling for protests while President Nicolas Maduro travels abroad seeking help for the financially struggling country.

Tensions have escalated in recent days as the socialist administration has deployed troops and implemented a rationing system to control lines at government-run supermarkets.


Mexico suffers gasoline shortages because of pipeline thefts

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico's state-owned oil company acknowledges that pipeline thefts have gotten so bad they're causing gasoline shortages in some states.

The Pemex oil company says thieves repeatedly drilled illegal taps into pipelines carrying gasoline from refineries to distribution centers in north-central Mexico.

The company often has to shut down or reduce pressure in pipelines to repair the damage caused by illegal taps.


Brazil's Petrobras fails to meet output target

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazil's state-run oil company says it failed to reach its year-end production target even though its daily oil output increased 5.3 percent in 2014.

The oil firm Petrobras said in a statement late Monday that last year's daily output was about 2 million barrels compared with 1.9 million barrels in 2013.


Rouhani seeks to reassure Iranians amid falling oil prices

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — The Iranian president is trying to reassure his nation amid plunging oil prices and says that major producers such as Saudi Arabia will be more affected by the global crisis.

Speaking in the southern Iranian port city of Bushehr, Hassan Rouhani said Iran will weather the "strain."


Oil under $45 ahead of U.S. stockpile report


Expectations that data Wednesday will show another increase in U.S. stockpiles, combined with remarks from the UAE oil minister that OPEC will stand firm against production cuts, sent oil into a deeper slide early Tuesday. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery dropped $1.24 to $44.83 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent plunged $2.20 to $45.23, Bloomberg reports.


No letup in falling gasoline prices: AAA


Only one state, Hawaii, still has average gasoline prices over $3 a gallon, and in 19 states the average price has slipped under the $2 mark, according to statistics from the AAA, Time reports.


UAE energy minister: No change in OPEC policy amid oil slide

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The energy minister for the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday his country is concerned about the balance in the oil market but added that OPEC does not plan to shift its strategy to shore up falling crude prices.

Oil prices have lost well over half their value since late June, with benchmark U.S. prices now trading below $45 a barrel.


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