Houston Chronicle | Rye Druzin | March 29, 2017
A prominent oil expert says the summer driving season will be a key indicator of the health of the global oil industry.
“A critical milestone is going to be when we all wake up a week after Memorial Day with gasoline demand higher than last year, or not, and by how much,” Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of Energy and Sustainability at the University of California at Davis, said Wednesday by phone.
Jaffe was citing the holiday weekend that marks the unofficial start to the summer holiday season, which typically is when U.S. demand for gasoline is at its highest levels of the year.
Higher demand would indicate burgeoning oil supplies could be whittled down, helping to fix the supply-demand imbalance that has plagued the industry for more than two years. Low growth could plunge oil markets back into lower prices as resilient supply continues to outstrip demand.
Her comments coincided with the release of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ first-quarter energy survey that showed oil and gas executives believe the Permian Basin is set to continue “increasing, increasing, increasing.”
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