TOP Oil Market News: Crude Falls; Hedge Funds Cut Bullish Bets

The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.

Brent Crude Futures Drop Amid Disagreement in U.S. Budget Talks

Brent crude fell for a second time in three days amid concern that deadlock in U.S. budget talks may threaten to curb economic growth and fuel demand.

TOP OIL MARKET STORIES

Oil Bulls in Biggest Retreat in Seven Months: Energy Markets

Hedge funds cut bullish oil bets by the most since May as U.S. production reached the highest level in almost 19 years and a looming budget stalemate in Washington raised the specter of an economic slowdown.

Fracking Boom Is Dollar Boon in Energy Independence: Currencies

Oil’s negative drag on the dollar is weakening as rising U.S. natural gas and crude production propels the nation to the highest level of energy self-sufficiency in two decades.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Saudi Aramco to Shut Riyadh Plant for Works, Modify Jeddah Unit

Saudi Arabian Oil Co. will shut its Riyadh refinery for maintenance in 2014 and stop producing gasoline and other light fuels at a similar facility in Jeddah, a company official with knowledge of the plan said.

Inpex to Close 4,700 Barrel-a-Day Kubiki Oil Refinery Tomorrow

Co. is closing facility in Japan’s Niigata prefecture due to decline in crude production from domestic fields and plant inefficiency, Keisuke Yano, a spokesman, said by phone.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Iran Raises Asia Crude, Saudis Seek Gasoil: Persian Gulf Oil

Iran raised premiums for January shipments of most of its crude to Asia, widening the spread between differentials for its Light and Heavy grades compared with comparable Saudi blends.

Vitol Said to Buy Fuel Oil Cargo From Indian Oil at Discount

Vitol Group bought 30,000 metric tons of fuel oil for loading in January from Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, said three traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Angola to Export 40 February Crude Lots, Partial Plan Shows (1)

Angola, Africa’s second-largest oil producer, will export 40 cargoes of crude in February, a partial loading program obtained by Bloomberg News showed.

Indian Oil Said to Offer 65,000 Tons Naphtha for January Loading

Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s largest refiner, offered to sell a total of 65,000 metric tons of naphtha for loading in January, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Asia’s Gasoil Crack Rises to Highest in a Week: Oil Products

Asia’s gasoil crack spread widened to the most in about a week, signaling increasing profits for refiners turning crude into the middle distillate. Trafigura Beheer BV bought cargoes of the fuel in Singapore, the region’s biggest oil-trading center.

Unipec, Gunvor Said to Buy Fuel From Indian Oil for January (1)

China International United Petroleum & Chemical Co., or Unipec, and Gunvor Group Ltd. bought naphtha and fuel oil cargoes for January loading from Indian Oil Corp., said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

TOP ENERGY STORIES

Tepco Leads Utilities Rally as Abe Seen Restarting Nuclear (1)

Tokyo Electric Power Co. led a surge in the stocks of Japanese power utilities after the Liberal Democratic Party, which has championed nuclear power, won a landslide election victory yesterday.

China Gas to Buy Fortune Oil Gas Unit for $400 Million (2)

China Gas Holdings Ltd., the supplier of natural gas to 172 Chinese cities, will buy Fortune Oil Plc’s Chinese natural gas operations for $400 million, expanding its service territory across China.

Rosneft Seeks Delay to $3 Billion Shareholder Suit Against BP

OAO Rosneft asked a Siberian court to delay a decision on a 100 billion-ruble ($3 billion) lawsuit brought against BP Plc by a minority shareholder in OAO TNK-BP Holding, a unit of the Russian oil venture it’s acquiring.

California Utilities Say Solar Raises Cost for Non-Users: Energy

Booming rooftop solar installations in California are bringing an unwelcome surprise to the homes and businesses that don´t have the devices: an extra $1.3 billion added to their annual bills.

OTHER MARKETS

European Stocks Drop for Third Consecutive Day; Yen, Gold Weaken

European stocks fell for a third day on concern that U.S. lawmakers won’t agree on a budget before year-end holidays. The yen weakened to the lowest since April 2011 after the Liberal Democratic Party returned to power on calls for more monetary easing, and gold declined.

Stocks Are Held Hostage as S&P 500 CEOs Plan to Cut Spending (1)

The U.S. budget debate is holding stocks hostage, as chief executive officers prepare to cut capital spending for the first time since 2009 should President Barack Obama and Congress fail to reach an accord.

Hedge Funds Reduce Bullish Bets by Most in a Month: Commodities

Hedge funds cut bullish commodity bets by the most in a month as the Federal Reserve warned the U.S. budget impasse may damage the economy, increasing concern about demand just as prices head for the first loss since 2008.

SPORTS

Knicks Boast Improved Team, Brand as Lin Returns to New York

The first-place New York Knicks, off to the franchise’s best start since 1972, have strengthened their team and brand since overnight sensation Jeremy Lin last played at Madison Square Garden.

49ers Beat Patriots; Giants Fall Into Three-Way NFL Division Tie

The San Francisco 49ers blew a 28-point lead before pulling out a 41-34 victory at New England in a matchup of National Football League division leaders, ending the Patriots’ seven- game winning streak to seal a playoff spot.

Cowboys’ Brent Attends Game After Crash That Killed Teammate

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent was on the sideline in street clothes during yesterday’s overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers, one week after being charged with intoxication manslaughter for a one-car accident that killed teammate Jerry Brown.

Mets’ Dickey Would Join Jays With Extension, Fox Sports Says

R.A. Dickey will join Toronto as the centerpiece of a multiplayer trade with the New York Mets provided the National League’s Cy Young Award winner agrees to a contract extension with the Blue Jays, Fox Sports said.

ENERGY PRICES

Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- --------WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 86.65 -0.08 -0.1 Nymex Jan. Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 107.93 -0.25 -0.2 ICE Feb. Gasoil ($/Ton) 923.25 +0.25 +0.0 ICE Feb. Gasoline (c/Gal) 266.37 +0.16 +0.1 Nymex Jan. Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 3.36 +0.04 +1.3 Nymex Jan. Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 109.51 -0.53 -0.5 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 297.92 -0.15 -0.1 Nymex Jan.

Other markets:

Last %Chg

----- -----Dollar Index 79.61 --Gold ($/Oz)

1,697.00 --MSCI World Index 1,326.00 --

Prices as of 12 p.m. London time

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Voss in London at sev@bloomberg.net

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