TOP Oil Market News: Oil Set for Weekly Gain; Iraq’s Star Rises

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

Oil Heads for Biggest Weekly Gain Since August on Budget Talks

Oil rose in New York, extending the biggest weekly gain since August, as U.S. lawmakers scheduled talks aimed at averting tax increases and spending cuts that threaten the economy of the world’s largest crude consumer.

TOP OIL MARKET NEWS

Iraq Star Rises in OPEC as Embargo Hurts Iran: Energy Markets

Iraq jumped two places to No. 2 in OPEC’s rankings this year, cementing its position among the world’s leading oil producers. Neighboring Iran dropped three spots to fifth as international sanctions took hold.

Japan’s Crude Oil Imports Fell 7.6% in November, METI Data Shows

Japan’s crude oil imports fell 7.6 percent to 15.67 million kiloliters, data from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed today. Oil product imports dropped 3.5 percent to 2.93 million, while exports increased 3.3 percent to 1.92 million.

Refiners Beating Exxon Join Pipe Boom for Lost Margins: Energy

Refiners from Tesoro Corp. to Phillips 66 that gained as much as 86 percent this year are investing in pipelines for new revenue as margins for turning oil into gasoline narrow from record levels.

Mangalore Refinery Offers Fuel Cargoes for January, February

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. offered to sell 245,000 metric tons of refined oil products for loading from end-January to February, the company said in documents e-mailed to potential buyers.

Oil May Rise on Stronger Demand as Economy Grows, Survey Shows

Oil may rise next week as stronger economic growth boosts demand, a Bloomberg survey showed.

Asia Gasoil Crack Gains; Fuel Oil Discount Narrows: Oil Products

Asia’s gasoil crack to Dubai rose for a second day. Naphtha’s premium to Brent fell.

Citgo Has Shutdown at Corpus Christi Refinery, NRC Filing Shows

Power outage resulted in partial shutdown of sulfur recovery system at the refinery in Corpus Christi, Texas, according to filing with the National Response Center.

Natural Gas Supply Drop Limited by Mild Weather, Forecasts Show

Natural gas inventories declined by about half the normal rate last week as moderate weather crimped demand for heating fuels, analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show.

API Snapshot: U.S. Crude-Oil Inventories Fell 1.17 Mln Barrels

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

Gasoil Stockpiles Rise in Europe’s Oil-Trading Hub, PJK Says

Gasoil stockpiles in independent storage rose in Europe’s Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp oil-trading hub, according to PJK International BV.

OPEC

Saudi Arabia Must Review Its Oil Subsidies, Former Adviser Says

Saudi Arabia will need to reduce fuel subsidies that are becoming an ever-greater fiscal burden as its population grows, a former adviser to the country’s oil minister said.

Iraq Tells Lukoil to Cut Oil Production Target at West Qurna-2

OAO Lukoil, the Russian oil company with the most assets overseas, said Iraq asked it to cut its production target at the West Qurna-2 project by 33 percent.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Philadelphia Energy Said to Start Girard Point Work in January

Philadelphia Energy Solutions plans to close the Girard Point section of its Philadelphia refinery near the end of January for about 60 days of work, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Shell Martinez, California, Refinery Struck by Power Failure (1)

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s Martinez, California, refinery was struck by a power failure, according to state and federal filings.

JX Oil Refining to Drop 1% to 6.33 Million Kiloliters in January

JX Nippon’s oil processing will drop 1 percent to 6.33 million kiloliters in January, the company said today.

Shell Has Emissions at Martinez Oil Refinery, Nrc Filing Shows

Royal Dutch Shell Plc released 500 pounds of sulfur dioxide at its Martinez, California, oil refinery after a loss of power, according to a filing with the U.S. National Response Center.

Motiva Port Arthur Reports Stabilizing Pressure Relief Valve

Motiva Enterprises LLC’s Port Arthur refinery reported an emissions event during the restart of the No. 3 fluid catalytic cracker yesterday. The event lasted from 4:42 p.m. to 4:48 p.m., according to a company filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

New York Gasoline Rises After Philadelphia Refinery Units Shut

Gasoline gained in New York Harbor after two units shut for maintenance at the 355,000-barrel-a-day Philadelphia refinery.

Gasoline Gains in Low Trading Volume as Refinery Begins Work

Gasoline rallied in below-average trading volume the day before Christmas as the largest U.S. East Coast refinery shut units to begin a planned turnaround.

Shell Says Pernis Refinery Fire in Rotterdam Had Limited Impact

Royal Dutch Shell Plc said a fire earlier today had limited operational impact at its Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands, Europe’s largest.

Phillips 66 Flared Gas at Wood River Oil Refinery in Illinois

Phillips 66 flared sulfur dioxide at its Wood River oil refinery yesterday, according to a filing with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Fall 1.8 %

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan fell 1.8 percent to 11.08 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.

Surgut Said to Award January Urals Crude Tender to Repsol

OAO Surgutneftegas, Russia’s fourth- largest oil producer, awarded a tender for two cargoes of Urals crude to Repsol SA for loading from two Baltic ports, according to two people with knowledge of the tender.

Algeria Raises January Saharan Blend Crude to $1.20 Premium

Sonatrach, the Algerian state-run oil producer, raised its official selling price for benchmark Saharan Blend crude for loading in January to $1.20 a barrel more than North Sea Dated Brent, according to an e-mailed price list from the company.

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

Toshiba in Talks to Sell Up to 16% of Westinghouse Electric (1)

Toshiba Corp., the Japanese manufacturer of nuclear reactors, consumer electronics and home appliances, is in talks to sell a stake in its Westinghouse Electric atomic-power unit as industry growth slows.

Exxon to Sempra Can Export Half of U.S. Home Gas Supply: Energy

Natural gas suppliers from Sempra Energy to Exxon Mobil Corp. are fighting for the first U.S. export permits after a study said selling some of the fuel to Asia will benefit the economy more than consuming it domestically.

Tokyo Electric Sued by 8 U.S. Sailors Exposed to Radiation Leak

Tokyo Electric Power Co., owner of the power plant which had the world’s biggest nuclear disaster since 1986, was sued by eight U.S. sailors claiming they were exposed to radiation and the utility lied about the dangers.

Edenor Burns Bondholders With Biggest ’12 Rout: Argentina Credit

Bonds of Empresa Distribuidora y Comercializadora Norte SA fell the most in Latin America this year as concern deepened that fixed electricity rates and soaring inflation will push Argentina’s largest power distributor to default.

Oil Supply Probably Dropped to 10-Week Low, Survey Shows (1)

U.S. oil stockpiles probably dropped to the lowest level in 10 weeks on refinery utilization and a decline in imports, a Bloomberg survey showed.

EPA Head Jackson to Leave After Fighting Climate-Change Foes (2)

Lisa Jackson said she will step down as head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency after four years during which she led the first efforts to curb carbon- dioxide emissions to combat global-warming risks.

Noble Sees Shell Alaska Rig Ready in 2013 After U.S. Checks (1)

Noble Corp. expects to have its Noble Discoverer rig ready for Royal Dutch Shell Plc to resume drilling in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea next year, after fixing issues raised during a U.S. Coast Guard inspection.

Edison International Units Sued by Chevron Over Oil Fields (1)

Units of Edison International were sued by affiliates of Chevron Corp., which asked a bankruptcy judge to help facilitate their attempted $82.5 million purchase of a joint oil-field support venture near Bakersfield, California.

German 2013 Power Drops to Record on Above-Average Temperatures

German power for 2013 dropped to a record after day-ahead prices during the Christmas holidays fell below zero while above-average temperatures pushed down electricity for next- quarter delivery.

OTHER MARKETS

Yen Weakens to 28-Month Low as Asian Stocks, Commodities Advance

The yen weakened to the lowest since August 2010 amid speculation the Bank of Japan will inject more cash. Asian stocks and most commodities advanced as U.S. lawmakers arranged meetings before a budget deadline.

Yen Slides to 28-Month Low on Declines in CPI, Factory Output

The yen sank to a 28-month low after data showing drops in Japanese consumer prices and factory output fanned speculation the central bank will heed government calls to step up cash infusions to end deflation.

Yuan Sets Tone for Asia as Japan Dethroned by China: Currencies

Asian central banks are tolerating gains in their currencies against the yen as China’s economic recovery diminishes concern that stronger exchange rates may damp their export advantages.

Asian Stocks Climb as Japan Consumer Prices Fall, Weakening Yen

Asian stocks rose, with Japanese shares posting their biggest annual advance since 2005, after a report that the country’s consumer prices fell fanned speculation the central bank will respond to government calls for more asset purchases.

Reliance Buys Indian Property Stocks, Bajaj Sells Drugmakers (1)

Indian policies to lure foreign investors and revive Asia’s third-biggest economy are driving the nation’s largest money managers to accumulate automakers, property companies and metal producers that stand to benefit most from a recovery.

Rubber to Extend Bull Market as Stimulus Accelerates Recovery

Rubber will likely extend a bull market next year as monetary and fiscal stimulus from Japan to China and the U.S. will accelerate a global recovery and boost raw-material demand.

Gold Bulls Strongest Since August as Funds Retreat: Commodities

Gold traders are the most bullish in four months as U.S. lawmakers near a deadline for budget talks, at a time when hedge funds are cutting bets on higher prices.

Obama Summons Congress Leaders to Meet as Budget Deadline Nears

President Barack Obama summoned congressional leaders to a White House meeting three days before a year-end deadline to avoid $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases as lawmakers gave little sign they intend to act together on a budget plan.

First Gulf War Commander Norman Schwarzkopf Dies at 78 Years Old

General Norman Schwarzkopf, who led U.S. forces to victory in the 1991 Persian Gulf war, died yesterday. He was 78.

SPORTS

Benitez in Line to Get Chelsea Job Permanently: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.

Australia Routs Sri Lanka to Clinch Test Cricket Series Victory

Australia beat Sri Lanka by an innings and 201 runs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in their Test cricket series.

Australia Closes in on Cricket Series Victory Against Sri Lanka

Australia closed in on a cricket series win against Sri Lanka after taking a 304-run first- innings lead and reducing the touring team to 43-4 at lunch on day three of their second Test.

ENERGY PRICES Energy Prices:

Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 91.32 +0.45 +0.5 Nymex Feb. Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 111.23 +0.43 +0.4 Ice February Gasoil ($/Ton) 945.00 +7.50 +0.8 Ice Feb. Gasoline (c/Gal) 283.61 +1.48 +0.5 Nymex Jan. Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 3.40 -0.02 -0.5 Nymex Feb. Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 111.96 +0.25 +0.2 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 307.98 +0.75 +0.2 Nymex Jan.

Other markets:

Last %Chg

----- ----- Dollar Index 79.62 -- Gold ($/Oz) 1,663.70 +0.2 MSCI World Index 1,337.25 +0.1

Prices as of 6 a.m. GMT

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

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