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China may have stored more oil than officially reported - Orbital Insight intel

China may have stored more oil than officially reported - Orbital Insight intelChina, the world’s largest energy consumer, may have stored more oil than official estimates, according to an analysis of satellite images by Orbital Insight, Bloomberg reported.

Oil in storage was about 600 million barrels as of May, according to the geospatial analytics start-up based in Palo Alto, California. There were about 2,100 strategic and commercial petroleum reserve tanks capable of storing 900 million barrels as of the end of 2014, according to calculations derived from photos tracking the depth of shadows visible on top of the floating lids of the giant tanks. They do not include underground caverns.

The estimates exceed projections from forecasters. China’s record purchases this year have helped oil prices to recover from the worst crash in a generation.

The findings are also the latest example of how private technology firms are using big data and machine learning to better measure the second-largest economy, where some official data are incomplete and private gauges have vanished without explanation.
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