NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 02/20/13 -- The Oil & Gas Industry has experienced a good start to 2013 as improvements in the global economy has seen both the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) and OPEC raise their forecasts for global oil demand in 2013. The SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP) has gained nearly 10 percent year-to-date. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Oil & Gas Industry and provides equity research on BP plc (NYSE: BP) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX).
The EIA has raised its 2013 growth forecasts by 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 1.05 million bpd in 2013. Global oil demand is now expected to total 90.2 million bpd this year. The increase follows a report from OPEC earlier in the week projecting oil demand to increase by 840,000 bpd, 80,000 bpd higher than its previous estimate. Prices for Brent Crude have gained approximately 10 percent year-to-date hitting a 10-month high of over $118 a barrel.
"Market fundamentals and expectations strengthened in January 2013 because of earlier than-expected cutbacks in Saudi Arabian oil production and greater optimism about economic growth, particularly in China," the EIA said in its report.
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BP has failed to reach a settlement with the federal government related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster and is prepared to go to court. "We have always been open to settlements on reasonable terms, failing which we have always been prepared to defend our case at trial. Faced with demands that are excessive and not based on reality or the merits of the case, we are going to trial," said Rupert Bondy, Group General Counsel of BP.
Shares of Chevron have gained 7.2 percent year-to-date. For the fourth quarter of 2012 the company reported earnings of $7.2 billion for the fourth quarter 2012, compared to earnings of $5.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2011. The company has "led the industry in earnings per barrel for over three years", according to Chairman and CEO John Watson.
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