Feb 28, 2017

U.S. oil exports are blowing past expectations

Gerald Herbert / AP

U.S. crude oil exports have exceeded 1.2 million barrels a day, per the Financial Times. That follows the lifting of a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in 2015, and far exceeds baseline projections. As the FT points out, the strong exports are a result of:

  • The oil glut in the world market has made U.S. oil a relative bargain compared with other grades.
  • A rebound in oil prices last year has encouraged U.S. companies to increase drilling. The EIA estimates domestic production is above 9 million barrels a day for the first time in 10 months.
  • U.S. refineries, unlike OPEC, haven't done much to "mop up" the glut.
  • Rates for leasing supertankers have declined, making its cheaper to transfer oil to foreign countries.

Why this matters: The situation poses a threat to Saudi Arabia and other key OPEC members, which have historically had control over the oil industry and the power to gauge pricing. But following the group's November agreement to curtail oil output, concerns about tighter oil supplies have led foreign countries to look elsewhere — such as to the U.S. — for their supply.

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Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know so far

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee Molson Coors on Wednesday, including the 51-year-old gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at an evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

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WHO official leads criticism of Trump's coronavirus response

President Trump with members of the new coronavirus task force, including Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Wednesday. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, special advisor to the director general of the World Health Organization, told MSNBC Wednesday he found "most" of what President Trump said at his briefing on the novel coronavirus "incoherent."

The big picture: As the number of confirmed cases reaches 60 in the U.S., the top health professional — who was a health policy adviser in the Obama administration — is among several leading figures, in particular, Democrats, to criticize the president for his response to the outbreak.

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