Americas Oil Slide May Raise U.S. Mideast Dependence

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Oil production problems throughout North and South America will hurt US efforts to cut back on Middle Eastern crude imports, energy experts are saying.

Oil production problems throughout North and South America will hurt US efforts to cut back on Middle Eastern crude imports, energy experts are saying.

Steep oil field decline rates in Mexico and Venezuela and delays and outages in offshore US and Canadian areas should lower output from the region this year, countering earlier expectations of a rise.

"In aggregate, North and South American oil supply looks set to fall by close to 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) for 2007, reversing the 90,000 bpd gain posted in 2006," Fimat analyst Antoine Halff said in a research note.

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