TOP Oil Market News: Oil Near One-Week Low; Brent Premium Gains

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

Oil Trades Near One-Week Low on U.S. Supplies, Seaway Pipeline

Oil traded near the lowest level in a week in New York after U.S. crude stockpiles gained and capacity on the Seaway pipeline was reduced.


LNG Imports Rise to Record in 2012 as Japan Idles Reactors (1)

Japan’s liquefied natural gas imports rose to a record in 2012 as the country relied on fossil fuels to generate electricity to make up the shortfall from nuclear plants idled after the Fukushima disaster.

Reduced Capacity on Seaway Pipeline Boosts Brent Premium to WTI

Enterprise Products Partners LP told shippers that capacity was limited on its expanded Seaway Pipeline, widening the spread between domestic benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude and Brent.

Hawaii Refinery Stop Set to Lure Asia Jet Fuel: Energy Markets

Asian jet fuel shipments to Hawaii are poised to triple as Tesoro Corp. shuts the islands’ biggest crude-processing plant, helping lift refining margins from the weakest level in almost five years.

China Tracks Errol Flynn to Tasmania in Quest for Wind: Energy

The Roaring Forties gales off Tasmania, where Hollywood swashbuckler Errol Flynn was first smitten with sailing, are luring Chinese investors with a different passion -- harnessing wind to generate electricity.

Oil and Distillate Inventories Advanced Last Week, API Reports

Oil supplies increased 3.17 million barrels to 364 million last week, the American Petroleum Institute said.

European Naphtha Cargoes to Asia Rise by One From Week Earlier

European naphtha shipments loading in January for transport to Asia rose to 12 cargoes from 11 a week earlier, shipping data showed.

Asia Naphtha Crack Spread Gains; Jet Fuel Rebounds: Oil Products

Asia’s naphtha crack spread extends gains, signaling increased profit for refiners making the petrochemical and gasoline feedstock. Jet fuel’s regrade rebounds.

Mangalore Refinery Said to Sell Jet Fuel for 50-Cent Discount

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. sold a cargo of jet fuel for loading in February for about 50 cents a barrel below Singapore prices, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Dow Chemical Fights Ally Exxon’s Push to Export U.S. Natural Gas

Exxon Mobil Corp. and Dow Chemical Co., big-dollar lobbying allies on many issues in Washington, are on opposite sides of a high-stakes fight over how much of rising U.S. natural gas supplies should be sold overseas.

Natural Gas Supplies Declined Less Than Average, Forecasts Show

Natural gas inventories dropped by less than average last week as mild weather curtailed demand for the heating fuel, analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg show.

Natural Gas Slips a Second Day on Milder U.S. Weather Next Week

Natural gas futures slipped for a second day in New York as forecasts for mild weather next week after a cold snap signaled reduced heating-fuel demand.

Clinton Deputy Nides Said Planning to Leave State Department

Deputy Secretary of State Tom Nides, a former chief operating officer at Morgan Stanley, plans to leave the Obama administration next month and may return to the financial services industry, according to a person familiar with the matter.

API Snapshot: U.S. Crude-Oil Inventories Rose 3.17 Mln Barrels

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

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Phillips 66 Wood River Said to Plan Crude Unit Work in February

Phillips 66’s Wood River refinery in Illinois plans to shut two crude distillation units, a hydrocracker, a diesel hydrotreater and a coker for work beginning in late February, a person familiar with the turnaround schedule said.

Tesoro Reported Major Unit Startup at Golden Eagle Yesterday

Co. reported major unit startup in two separate notices to Contra Costa County regulators yesterday.

Phillips 66 Reported Unit Shutdown at Rodeo Refinery Yesterday

Refinery in Northern California reported shutdown at 740am local time yesterday, notice to Contra Costa County regulators shows.

Oil Slides on Seaway Limit, Sugar Rises: Commodities at Close

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI gauge of 24 commodities fell 0.3 percent to 661.98. The UBS Bloomberg CMCI index of 26 raw materials slipped 0.1 percent to 1,596.11.

Valero at 4-Year High After Seaway Reduces Flows: Houston Mover

Valero Energy Corp. reached the highest price since July 2008 as the U.S. benchmark crude fell after Enterprise Product Partners LP reduced flows on its Seaway pipeline.

California Gasoline Strengthens on February Trading, Fuel Switch

Spot gasoline in California strengthened against futures after the prompt-month contract rolled into February and before a Kinder Morgan Energy Partners pipeline switches to more stringent fuel requirements.

Husky Lima Reported Small Transformer Fire Jan. 19

Husky Energy Inc. incident at Ohio refinery was “nothing major,” state regulator said.

Delek Tyler Refinery Performing Maintenance on Precipitator

Delek US Holdings Inc. reported excess emissions from fluid catalytic cracker and No. 9 boiler.


Clean Fuels for Vehicles, Ships to Get EU Regulatory Push

Clean fuels for cars, trucks and ships in the European Union would get a boost under draft legislation to be presented today by EU regulators.

Socar Said to Buy Fuel Oil From Hindustan Petroleum for February

The State Oil Co. of Azerbaijan, known as Socar, bought as much as 30,000 metric tons of fuel oil for loading in February from Hindustan Petroleum Corp., India’s third-largest state refiner, said two traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Fall 2.5 %

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan fell 2.5 percent to 8.63 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.


Algeria Attack No Outlier as Oil Targeted 3 Times a Week: Energy

While the attack in Algeria that killed at least 38 hostages was the deadliest raid on the oil industry in five years, it’s far from unprecedented.

Tracking the Effects of Weather, Storage on U.K. Gas Prices

U.K. National Balancing Point day-ahead gas prices have gained 33 percent in the past five months. Bloomberg functions show how colder weather and availability of gas storage contributed to the gains.

Medvedev Rules Out Competing Against Putin for Presidency (2)

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said he won’t run against President Vladimir Putin in the next presidential election, two months after describing how he struggled to relinquish the Kremlin.

Obama Seen Skirting Congress to Set Climate-Change Policies (2)

President Barack Obama, whose inaugural address made climate change a second-term priority, could bypass Congress and implement much of his environmental agenda unilaterally through regulations and executive action.

China May Raise Natural Gas Prices This Year, Barclays Says

China may increase natural gas prices this year as the government takes a more “market-based approach” to meeting demand for the cleaner-burning fuel, according to Barclays Plc.

Indonesia to Move to Spot, Short-Term LNG Contracts: SKKMigas

SKKMigas deputy chairman for planning, Widhyawan Prawiraatmadja, says Indonesia will move away from long-term LNG supply contracts to more spot and short- term supply.

Korea Gas Falls to 4-Month Low on Share Sale Report: Seoul Mover

Korea Gas Corp., the world’s biggest liquefied natural gas importer, slumped to the lowest level in four months in Seoul trading after the Korea Economic Daily reported the company may sell new shares.

Rothschild’s Proposed Bumi Chairman King Expects to Oust Tan

Wallace King, proposed by Nathaniel Rothschild as the new Bumi Plc chairman, expects to win enough backing from shareholders next month to oust incumbent Samin Tan amid a battle for control of the Indonesian coal venture.

SandRidge Has Paid $9.5 Million to CEO’s Companies (1)

SandRidge Energy Inc. has paid $9.5 million since 2008 to companies controlled by Chief Executive Officer Tom Ward and his relatives and needs to disclose more about its dealings with the family, according to shareholder TPG-Axon Capital Management LP.


Yen Snaps Three-Day Climb as U.S. Index Futures Drop on Apple

The yen fell for the first time in four days as Japan’s deputy economy minister said a correction from strong levels “isn’t over yet.” Exporters led Japanese stocks higher, while U.S. stock-index futures sank after Apple Inc. posted the weakest sales growth in 14 quarters.

Yen Drops on Chinese PMI Gain, Nishimura Call for More Weakness

The yen weakened, snapping a three- day advance, as signs of strengthening manufacturing in China damped demand for refuge assets and a Japanese official endorsed the currency’s drop to 100 per dollar.

Central Banks Carry Traders to Best Start Since 2007: Currencies

The $4 trillion foreign-exchange market is showing more confidence in the global economy than at any time in the past five years as central banks show few signs of pulling back on their largess anytime soon.

Asian Stocks Swing Between Gains, Losses as Japan Shares Rally

Asian stocks swung between gains and losses as Japanese shares rallied on a weaker yen, China’s manufacturing beat estimates and North Korea threatened a nuclear test. Apple Inc. suppliers fell after the company reported its weakest sales since 2009.

U.S. Equity Futures Drop as Apple Posts Slowest Sales Since ’09

U.S. equity futures fell, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index may retreat from a five-year high, after Apple Inc. reported no profit growth and the slowest increase in sales in 14 quarters.

Gold Seen Extending Rally as Fed Sticks With QE3 for Years (1)

Gold will rally this year and into 2014 as U.S. Federal Reserve policy makers will probably maintain asset purchases for two more years to buttress the recovery of the largest economy, according to Morgan Stanley.

Sugar Rush Leaves U.S. With Biggest Glut in Decade: Commodities

Record U.S. sugar output is creating the biggest domestic glut in a decade, reducing costs for Hershey Co. and making it more likely the government will need to stockpile supply to support farmers.

North Korea Threatens to Conduct Nuclear Test Targeting U.S. (1)

North Korea threatened to conduct a nuclear weapons test “targeted” at the U.S. after the Obama administration pushed through new United Nations sanctions against the totalitarian state for last month’s rocket launch.

Obama-Netanyahu Odd Couple Tests U.S.-Israel Alliance Resilience

President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emerge from their re-election campaigns confronting the same disputes that divided them last year: peace talks with the Palestinians, settlements and, above all, Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program.


Real Madrid Sets Sales Record as Manchester City Ranking Rises

Real Madrid is the first sports club to make more than 500 million euros ($665 million) in annual revenue, according to accountant Deloitte LLP.

Phil Mickelson Likens Tax Comments to His 2006 U.S. Open Blunder

Phil Mickelson said his public complaints about income taxes were insensitive and amounted to a “dumb mistake” similar to his final-hole play at the 2006 U.S. Open, where he blew a chance to win the tournament with a double-bogey.

Arsenal Beats West Ham 5-1 in English Soccer’s Premier League

Arsenal scored four goals in a 10- minute span of the second half to beat West Ham 5-1 in English soccer’s Premier League.

Energy Prices:
                         Last    Chg  %Chg   Exch Contract
                         ----   ----  ----   ---- --------
WTI Crude ($/Bbl)       95.56  +0.33  +0.3  Nymex    March
Brent Crude ($/Bbl)    112.78  -0.02   0.0    Ice    March
Gasoil ($/Ton)         963.75  +1.00  +0.1    Ice    March
Gasoline (c/Gal)       284.22  +0.84  +0.3  Nymex     Feb.
Natural gas ($/MMBtu)    3.59  +0.03  +0.9  Nymex     Feb.
Dated Brent ($/Bbl)    114.35  +0.24  +0.2    OTC  21 Days
Heating Oil            308.27  +0.46  +0.1  Nymex     Feb.

Other markets:
                         Last  %Chg
                        ----- -----
Dollar Index            79.93    --
Gold ($/Oz)          1,686.70  -0.4
MSCI World Index     1,394.29  +0.1

Prices as of 6 a.m. GMT

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski in Singapore at

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