Here's an interesting article by Pam Martens about a missing David Bird, a WSJ reporter covering energy, and the US oil market he has been writing about. While there is no evidence yet suggesting a connection between his work and his disappearance, NBC reported that “the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.”
Martens wonders about his continual reporting on an imbalance in oil supply in the US market caused by overproduction of shale oil in the face of slacking demand.
David Bird, Wall Street Journal Reporter, Goes Missing After Reporting for Three Months on Oil Glut in U.S.
By Pam Martens: January 20, 2014
David Bird, a reporter who covers energy markets for the Wall Street Journal, has been missing for nine days. Bird, who has worked for the parent of the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, for more than 20 years, left his Long Hill, New Jersey home on the afternoon of Saturday, January 11, telling his wife he was going for a walk. Despite a continuous search by hundreds of volunteers and law enforcement officials, Bird has not been located.
Bird is 55 years old, approximately 6’1, and was last seen wearing a red jacket with yellow zippers according to officials. He and his wife, Nancy, have two children, ages 12 and 15. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Long Hill Police at (908) 647-1800.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Bird is a liver-transplant recipient and is required to take medication twice a day. He did not take his medication with him when he left for the walk.
NBC reported that sources close to the family said one of his credit cards was used in Mexico last Wednesday. Other media outlets have been unable to confirm that report. In the same news story, NBC reported that “the family believes that his coverage of OPEC may be related to his disappearance.”
However, a careful review by Wall Street On Parade of the articles Bird has written for the Wall Street Journal since last October, shows that what he was regularly reporting on was a supply imbalance caused by overproduction of shale oil in the U.S. in the face of slacking demand.
On October 21, Bird wrote that “U.S. crude-oil futures Monday settled 1.6% lower, dropping to less than $100 a barrel for the first time since July on rising inventories and weak refiner demand. Prices dropped as the Energy Information Administration [EIA] reported U.S. crude-oil stocks rose for a fourth straight week, to the highest level since late June…The sluggish demand from refiners allows crude stocks to climb four-million barrels in the week ended Oct. 11, the EIA said in a report that was delayed from last week due to the government shutdown. That is the latest piece of a four-week build of 18.9 million barrels in stocks that has put pressure on prices, as refiners have lowered crude-oil processing runs by 1.26 million barrels a day since mid September…”
Read the whole article here.