TOP Oil Market News: Crude Trades Near Two-Week High

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

Oil Rises a Third Day on Signs of Progress in U.S. Budget Talks

Oil climbed for a third day in New York on signs an agreement will be reached on the U.S. budget, avoiding automatic spending cuts and tax increases next year.

Gasoline Supply Surges to 8-Month High in Survey: Energy Markets

U.S. gasoline stockpiles rose to the highest level since March as demand slipped and pump prices dropped to a low for the year, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Gasoline Gains on Optimism U.S. Budget Talks Will Yield Deal

Gasoline and heating oil rose on optimism that the White House is closer to a budget deal with House Speaker John Boehner.

Oil Stockpiles Decline as Gasoline Inventories Advance, API Says

Oil supplies fell 4.1 million barrels to 371.7 million last week, the American Petroleum Institute said.

Vitol Buys European Naphtha; Jet at One-Month High: Oil Products

Naphtha advanced to the highest level since October as Vitol Group bought its 18th cargo since the start of last week. Jet fuel barge premiums rose to the most in almost a month.

IEA Sees Oil at $100/Barrel in Next Decade, Chief Economist Says

IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol speaks to reporters in Rio.

Goldman Bullish With Hedge Funds Amid Citi Warning: Commodities

Investors almost doubled purchases of commodities this year, at a time when Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley are forecasting higher prices and Citigroup Inc. says the best returns are over.

Total Pushes Back North Sea Field Start to First Quarter (1)

Total SA plans to resume output from the Elgin platform in the North Sea by the end of the first quarter, signaling the return of the company’s largest U.K. field may take longer than hoped.

Natural Gas Futures Advance as Weather Forecasts Turn Colder

Natural gas futures advanced for a second day in New York on forecasts for colder-than-normal weather that would boost demand for the heating fuel.

U.K. Sets Higher Solar Incentives Than Proposed, Caps Biomass

The U.K. set solar incentives under its renewables support program at higher rates than it proposed in September, while placing a cap on biomass.

Zambian Tax Paid by Glencore, Vedanta May Triple as Projects End

Mining companies such as Glencore International Plc and Vedanta Resources Plc will pay three times more tax in Zambia than they did in 2010 once they finish expansion projects in Africa’s biggest copper producer, the Chamber of Mines said.

API Snapshot: U.S. Crude-Oil Inventories Fell 4.10 Mln Barrels

The following table is a summary of the latest Weekly Statistical Bulletin from the American Petroleum Institute. *T

OPEC

Investors Shun Post-War Iraq as Rising OPEC Star’s Recovery Lags

Ziad Makkawi set up a private equity investment firm last year to capitalize on Iraq’s plans for reviving an economy gutted by wars and sanctions.

Gasoline at U.S. Pumps Drops to Lowest in a Year on Supplies (2)

Retail gasoline prices in the U.S. fell to the lowest level in a year as refineries restored production and stockpiles rose to the most in eight months, blunting criticism of President Barack Obama’s energy policies.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Chevron Metal for Richmond Repair Meets Standards, Engineer Says

Chevron Corp.’s choice of metal to repair piping on the crude unit at its Richmond refinery meets state standards and is “suitable” for the high-temperature conditions at the plant, a city consultant said.

Motiva Said to Attempt Port Arthur Crude Unit Start by Dec. 23

Motiva Enterprises LLC expects to complete repairs on the 325,000-barrel-a-day crude unit at its Port Arthur, Texas, refinery by Dec. 23 and try to restart, a person familiar with operations said.

Crude Oil-Tanker Rates Jump as Cargoes to Asia Curb Ship Supply

The Baltic Dirty Tanker Index, a broad measure of oil shipping costs, gained the most since March as charter rates for Suezmax tankers climbed amid a shortage of available vessels.

Saudi Aramco Seen Booking Fifth Tanker to U.S. Gulf in December

Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s biggest state-owned crude producer, booked its fifth tanker to haul a cargo to the U.S. Gulf Coast this month, according to shipbroker reports.

Eagle Ford Crude Production Up 76% Over Last Year in October

Chesapeake Energy Corp. and other producers increased production in October by 76 percent from a year earlier in South Texas’s Eagle Ford shale formation.

Gasoline at U.S. Pumps Drops to Lowest in a Year on Supply Gain

Retail gasoline in the U.S. fell to the lowest level in a year as refineries restored production and stockpiles rose to an eight-month high, blunting criticism of President Barack Obama’s energy policies.

Wynnewood Cuts Oklahoma Refinery Rate, NRC Filing Shows (1)

Wynnewood Refining Co. released an unknown amount of hydrogen sulfide at its Oklahoma plant because of a shutdown during maintenance, according to a filing with the National Response Center.

Gulf Oils Weaken as WTI-Brent Spread Shrinks on Seaway Expansion

U.S. Gulf Coast oils weakened against benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude as the spread between Brent and WTI narrowed on an expected expansion of the Seaway oil pipeline in early January.

Motiva Port Arthur Crude Unit Has Second Fire During Restart (1)

Motiva Enterprises LLC had a second fire in less than a week at the 325,000-barrel-a-day crude unit in Port Arthur, Texas, as it attempts to restart equipment following six months of repairs.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Fall 1.7 %

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan fell 1.7 percent to 11.47 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.

U.S. Gulf Tanker Rates Climb to Four-Week High on Fewer Vessels

Hire rates for oil tankers heading to Europe from the U.S. Gulf Coast climbed to the highest in four weeks on a shortage of vessels, according to Poten & Partners Inc., a New York-based shipbroker and consultant.

Nigeria to Export 65 February Crude Lots, Partial Plan Shows (1)

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, is scheduled to export 65 crude cargoes in February, a partial loading program obtained by Bloomberg showed.

Crude Official Selling Prices and Formulas by Country (Table)

The following table shows official prices, formulas and relative values for crudes from the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. Figures represent outright prices in dollars a barrel, or premiums and discounts to regional benchmarks where plus and minus symbols appear.

TOP ENERGY STORIES

Stocks Gain With Commodities on U.S. Budget as Krona Strengthens

Stocks rose, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index trading at a two-month high, and commodities gained on signs of progress in U.S. budget talks. Ten-year Treasury yields climbed to a seven-week high.

Blasting Mississippi Rocks Delayed as Backhoes Make Progress

The drought-depleted Mississippi River was closed to traffic today south of St. Louis as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported progress removing submerged rock obstacles without resorting to blowing them up.

Nuclear Stock Rally in Japan Ignores Public Opposition: Energy

Japanese power-company stocks that rallied after the pro- nuclear Liberal Democratic Party was elected may struggle to sustain gains because of public opposition to restarting atomic plants.

Keppel May Acquire China Yard on Oil-Rig Demand: Southeast Asia

Keppel Corp., the world’s biggest oil-rig builder, may consider buying a yard in China as the nation boosts offshore drilling to meet rising energy demand.

Pertamina to Buy Conoco’s Algerian Unit for $1.75 Billion (1)

PT Pertamina, Indonesia’s state- owned oil company, agreed to buy stakes in three Algerian oil fields from ConocoPhillips for $1.75 billion, expanding its overseas assets.

Coal to Approach Oil as Top Energy Source by 2017, IEA Says (1)

Global coal demand will rise 2.6 percent annually in the next six years and challenge oil as the top energy source, according to the International Energy Agency.

Dividends Fail to Attract Small Cap Buyers: Corporate Canada

The shift by Canada’s small energy producers to pay dividends for the first time is failing to win over investors as rising costs and reduced prices for Canadian crude have made energy the second-worst performing industry group in the country this year.

Cameron Faces Rebellion From Own Party on U.K.’s Power Bill (2)

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne face a rebellion within their own party after rejecting proposals to include a target for cutting carbon in new energy-market legislation.

Brazil Said to Plan Boosting Ethanol Blend as Early as May (1)

Brazil, the world’s biggest sugar- cane grower, is considering raising the amount of ethanol mixed with gasoline as early as May as millers are forecast to process a record crop next year, a government official familiar with the plan said.

OTHER MARKETS

Stocks Gain With Commodities on U.S. Budget as Treasuries Fall

Stocks rallied, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a two-month high, and commodities gained on signs of progress in U.S. budget talks. Thirty-year Treasury yields climbed to a three-month high.

Euro Rises to 7-Month High Versus Dollar; Krona Up on Rate View

The euro rose to the strongest in more than seven months against the dollar on speculation U.S. lawmakers will reach a budget pact to avert pushing the economy over the so-called fiscal cliff and into recession.

Real Plunge Burns Borrowers Doubling Dollar Debt: Brazil Credit

The Brazilian real’s plunge this year is raising borrowing costs for local companies that have doubled dollar debt since 2009, as analysts project further losses in the world’s worst- performing major currency.

S&P 500 Advances to 2-Month High Amid Optimism on Budget Talks

U.S. stocks advanced, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to the highest level in two months, amid signs of progress in efforts by President Barack Obama and Republicans to reach agreement on a new budget in Washington.

European Stocks Rise on U.S. Budget Optimism; BHP Billiton Gains

European stocks rose for the first time in four days as U.S. President Barack Obama changed his position on tax increases, leading to optimism that Democrats and Republicans will agree on a compromise budget.

Gold Sags to Three-Month Low as Budget Optimism Boosts Equities

Gold dropped to the lowest in more than three months as signs that U.S. lawmakers may be closer to a budget deal boosted equities and reduced demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

Orange Juice Advances to Seven-Month High: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Spot Index of 24 raw materials rose 0.5 percent to settle at 640.18 at 3:58 p.m. in New York.

Boehner to Push Budget ‘Plan B’ Bill While Continuing Talks (4)

House Speaker John Boehner said he will push a budget “plan B” measure that will include tax increases on income of more than $1 million a year, while he continues to negotiate with President Barack Obama.

AmEx’s Chenault Said to Be Discussed at White House for Treasury

White House officials have approached American Express Co. Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Chenault about joining President Barack Obama’s second-term administration, possibly as Treasury secretary, according to two people familiar with the matter.

SPORTS

Norway’s Hirscher Wins Italian Slalom Where Gatekeeper Dies

Marcel Hirscher won the night slalom at Madonna di Campiglio in Italy, where a course official died of an apparent heart attack.

Colin Montgomerie Elected to Golf Hall Minus Major Championships

Colin Montgomerie, who won the European PGA Tour’s money title a record eight times without securing a major tournament victory, will enter the World Golf Hall of Fame in May.

China Builder With $48 Billion of Credit Seeks U.S. Investments

China Communications Construction Co. said it has access to at least 300 billion yuan ($48 billion) of credit lines from local banks as it seeks to invest in infrastructure projects in the U.S. and other developed nations.

ENERGY PRICES

Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 87.93 +0.73 +0.8 Nymex Jan. Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 108.84 +1.20 +1.1 Ice Feb. Gasoil ($/Ton) 928.25 +6.00 +0.7 Ice Jan. Gasoline (c/Gal) 269.26 +0.17 +0.1 Nymex Jan. Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 3.40 -0.02 -0.6 Nymex Jan. Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 110.47 +1.01 +0.9 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 299.87 +0.22 +0.1 Nymex Jan.

OTHER MARKETS:

Last %Chg

----- ----- Dollar Index 79.36 -0.3 Gold ($/Oz) 1,670.70 -1.6 MSCI World Index 1,347.60 --

Prices as of 11 p.m. GMT

Copy and paste this link for Table: NI $790 FJM

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski in Singapore at akwiatkowsk2@bloomberg.net

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.