JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Slumping oil prices have helped push Alaska's potential budget deficit this year to $3.5 billion — an increase of $2.1 billion from what lawmakers expected in April.
The price of oil, forecast at $105 a barrel in the state's spring revenue forecast, is now expected to average about $76 a barrel for the fiscal year that ends June 30. The price is forecast to dip even lower, to $66 a barrel, during fiscal 2016 before rebounding.
NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil took another dive Wednesday, plunging to five-year lows amid mounting evidence that global supplies are far outstripping demand.
The U.S. Energy Department reported a surprise increase in domestic oil inventories and OPEC projected that demand for its crude would sink next year to levels not seen in more than a decade.
Benchmark U.S. crude slumped 4.5 percent, or $2.88, to close at $60.94 a barrel on Wednesday. Prices have not been that low since July of 2009. U.S crude prices have fallen 17 percent in two weeks and are now 43 percent below the $107.26 that a barrel fetched at its peak this year.
GENEVA (AP) — The global airline industry expects its profits to leap to a record high next year, boosted by a continued fall in jet fuel prices as well as strong passenger demand and cost cuts.
The International Air Transport Association said Wednesday it forecasts 2015 will bring $25 billion in net profit — well above the $19.9 billion this year and the $10.6 billion in 2013 and $6.1 billion made in 2012.
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's President Hassan Rouhani says the sharp fall in oil prices is the result of "treachery," in an apparent reference to regional rival Saudi Arabia, which opposed production cuts to lift prices.
Rouhani told a Cabinet meeting Wednesday that the fall in prices is "politically motivated" and a "conspiracy against the interests of the region, the Muslim people and the Muslim world."
A bearish short-term energy outlook from the Energy Information Administration and a prediction from the American Petroleum Institute that U.S. stockpiles increased last week saw oil prices drop early Wednesday. U.S. benchmark crude lost $1.07 to $62.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent was 94 cents lower at $65.90, Reuters reports.
With a fall in the value of the dollar-– which had reached a two-year high against the euro – oil prices rebounded Tuesday from levels that hadn’t been seen since 2009. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery jumped 1.2 percent, an increase of 77 cents to settle at $63.82 a barrel on the Nymex, while in London Brent finished the trading day 65 cents higher at $66.84, Bloomberg reports.
The Energy Department again slashed its prediction for next year's average price of gasoline across the U.S., this time to $2.60 a gallon. That would be 23 percent below this year's projected average and the lowest full-year average since 2009.
If that comes to pass, the price drop will save U.S. drivers $100 billion over the course of the year based on current consumption levels. That will boost the overall economy by reducing shipping and transportation costs, and leaving consumers more money to spend on other things.
Oil prices fell more than 4 percent in New York and London Monday as there appeared to be no end in sight for the supply glut, and analysts warned of continued volatility. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery lost $2.79 to finish at $63.05 a barrel, the lowest settlement in more than five years, while Brent dropped $2.88 to $66.19.
Banks lowering their forecasts for oil prices in 2015 in the wake of OPEC’s decision to hold the line on production triggered a fresh slide to five-year lows early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery was down $1.31 to $64.53 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent had dropped $1.52 to $67.55, Bloomberg reports.
Global economic policymakers – from the International Monetary Fund and the Federal Reserve and elsewhere – are predicting that the drop in oil prices will help consumers and manufacturers and give a kickstart to economic growth around the world, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s rule limiting carbon emissions from existing power plants would threaten energy reliability, drive up costs, is unworkable, and should be withdrawn, 102 members of Congress -- led by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky. but also including six Democrats –- wrote in a letter to President Obama last week, The Hill reports.
Stiffer rules governing the standards of tank cars carrying crude will force the cargo off the rails and onto the roads, a consultant working with the group that prepared an analysis for the Railway Supply Institute told The Wall Street Journal.
Remarks from Saudi Arabia’s oil minister over the weekend, as well as a cut in output from Libya on renewed fighting and a spate of short-covering ahead of the Christmas holiday period saw oil prices rising early Monday. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery was up 55 cents to $57.68 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent jumped $1.59 to $62.97, Bloomberg reports.
Banks will get serious about cleaning up their portfolios in April, which could see a rash of defaults by over-extended drillers assuming there’s no rebound in oil prices, a principal at W L Ross investment firm told FuelFix.
Alberta had planned to revamp its greenhouse gas emissions policy by the end of the year, but the drop in oil prices has moved the provincial government to put off changes to its present carbon charges until June, Bloomberg reports.
NV Energy, which is continuing to deny that its smart meters pose a fire risk, has given more than 1,000 pages of documents to the Nevada Public Utilities Commission, which is investigating the issue, and the utility also has promised to update the firmware on the meters and monitor them closely, the Reno Gazette-Journal reports.
The Federal Aviation Administration is struggling to cope with requests from companies applying to use drones, and in some instances concerns of safety inspectors are being overridden, The Washington Post reports.
Advanced Energy Economy, a business association in California, has provided an analysis that claims some 432,000 people employed in the state are involved in clean energy -– including green power generation, energy conservation and energy efficiency -– the Los Angeles Times reports.