Brent futures held under $104 per barrel on Tuesday after the world’s largest consumer, the United States, nearly doubled an estimate of its shale oil reserves, while prospects of a slowdown in Chinese demand sapped prices.
Estimated global reserves of oil in shale rock deposits will boost total world crude resources by 11 percent, the U.S. government said in a report on Monday.
U.S. oil production has soared as new drilling techniques have unlocked shale deposits countrywide. The Energy Information Administration now estimates such shale oil reserves at 58 billion barrels, up from 32 billion in 2011.
“The gains seem to be hitting a ceiling simply because there is a broad market recognition that supply is racing ahead of demand,” said Victor Shum, managing director of downstream energy consulting, at IHS in Singapore.
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