Here at MetalCrawler the crude oil production and mining news broke fast and furious today. The implications for our metal markets are abundant when it comes to domestic gas drilling and mining.
New Record for Oil Production
Domestic oil production grew last year by the highest margin since the federal government started keeping records in 1900.
Crude oil output averaged 8.7 million barrels per day, an increase of 1.2 million barrels per day, which is the largest increase since record-keeping began, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported Monday.
The EIA attributed the record increase to tight oil from shale formations and said production will likely increase this year and next, as well, although not as much.
Gold Miners Oppose BLM Restrictions
The Alaska Dispatch News reports that gold miners working the ground in Alaska’s vast eastern Interior are railing against proposed Bureau of Land Management restrictions on mining in the area.
Miners who work near the Alaska’s Fortymile Mining District said they believe the proposal is the latest example of federal intervention intended to kill mining in the region. But BLM says it is only reviewing previously protected areas and making new determinations on their future, and claims its latest resource management plan could potentially open more land than it would close.
Nickel Surplus Leads to Six-Year Low
Nickel fell to its lowest price in almost six years on concern that demand for the metal used in stainless-steel production will drop in China, the worlds top consumer.
China’s 2015 steel production will fall 0.5% from a year earlier, and anti-dumping measures are creating more headwinds to the industry, Morgan Stanley told Bloomberg News on Monday. Nickel stockpiles monitored by the London Metal Exchange expanded 5% this year, reaching 435,048 metric tons on Monday, the highest in records going back to 1979.