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TOP Oil Market News: Brent Rises; U.S. Gasoline Prices Increase

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

Brent Oil Rises to Nine-Month High on China; WTI Spread Widens

Brent crude surged to a nine-month high in London while oil in New York slipped after stronger- than-expected trade data from China signaled increased fuel demand in the world’s second- biggest consuming country.


Ambani Says U.S. Will Be Energy Independent in 5-7 Years

Mukesh Ambani, the billionaire chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., said that the U.S.’s development of shale oil and gas will make the country energy independent as early as 2018.

Ahmadinejad Says Iran Won’t Cede to Pressure on Nuclear Work (1)

World powers failed to stop Iran from becoming a country that masters nuclear knowhow, and will “never” be able to stop its technological advancement, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said at a rally in Tehran.

Heating Oil Hits Four-Month High as Blizzard Heads Toward East

Heating oil rose to the highest level in almost four months on speculation that a snowstorm in the U.S. Northeast will boost demand for distillates and drain stockpiles on the East Coast.

Oil Exports Trim U.S. Deficit as Fuel Gap Shrinks: Economy (2)

Record petroleum exports helped shrink the U.S. trade deficit in December to the smallest in almost three years as America moved closer to energy self- sufficiency, a goal the nation has been pursuing since the 1973 Arab oil embargo.

U.S. Diesel Flow Seen Falling as Price Gain Curbs Shipments (1)

Diesel shipments to Europe from the U.S. Gulf Coast are poised to decline to the lowest level since September, a Bloomberg survey showed, as rising prices in the region curbed export demand.

Diesel Slumps in Europe as Output Capacity Soars: Energy Markets

Mediterranean diesel producers are being whipsawed by weakening demand and surging American exports, just as they boost capacity for making the fuel at the fastest rate in five years.

Valero Port Arthur Refinery Reports Unit Upset

Valero Energy Corp. reported a unit upset due to a “broken bleeder valve” at the 310,000-barrel-a- day Port Arthur, Texas, refinery

Marathon Garyville Refinery Reports Flaring in Louisiana

Marathon Petroleum Corp. reported flaring at its 460,000- barrel-a-day Garyville refinery in Louisiana, according to a filing with the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality

U.S. Gasoline Rises to $3.5918/Gallon in Lundberg Survey (1)

The average price for regular gasoline at U.S. pumps rose 24.75 cents a gallon in the past two weeks to $3.5918 a gallon, according to Lundberg Survey Inc.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Exxon Mobil Reports Emissions at Baytown, Texas, Refinery

A storage vessel floating roof landed on supporting legs, resulting in emissions at Exxon Mobil’s refinery in Baytown, Texas, co. says in a regulatory filing to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Flint Hills Minnesota Refinery Releases Hydrogen Sulfide

A compressor at the Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minn., released hydrogen sulfide yesterday at 2 p.m. local time.

Valero Reports Flaring at Corpus Christi Refinery Due to Work

Refinery’s West plant in Texas is performing planned maintenance over the weekend, Valero Energy said in notice to the local emergency planning committee.

Tesoro Reported ‘Major Unit’ Startup at Golden Eagle Refinery

Refinery in Northern California may flare gases as unit starts, Tesoro Corp. said in notice to Contra Costa County regulators.

Western Refining El Paso Plant to Begin Work Next Week

El Paso refinery in Texas to begin work on north side of plant Feb. 11, Gary Hanson, spokesman for Western Refining Inc., said by e-mail.

PDVSA Says It Controls Failure at Puerto La Cruz Refinery

Co. controlled incident at heating unit at 12:30 p.m. local time.

MORE: Phillips 66 Reports Flaring at Los Angeles Refinery

Phillips 66 not performing planned maintenance at Los Angeles refinery, Rich Johnson, Co. spokesman, said by e-mail.

Los Angeles Gasoline Weakens as BP, Tesoro Plan Unit Startups

Spot gasoline in Los Angeles dropped against futures as BP Plc and Tesoro Corp. were said to be preparing for the restart of production units at their refineries in Southern California.


Japan Not Seeking Emergency Access to Saudi Oil, Minister Says

Japan isn’t seeking an agreement with Saudi Arabia to raise production if it makes an emergency request for oil supply, Japanese Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters in Abu Dhabi today.


Blizzard Dumps on New England While Sparing Metro New York (3)

A blizzard ripped through the U.S. Northeast, dumping record amounts of snow in parts of New England, killing at least seven people, blacking out more than half a million and stalling travel from New Jersey to Maine while sparing New York City from much disruption.

Deutsche Bank Said to Fire 10 Traders as Banks Retrench (3)

Deutsche Bank AG fired 10 to 12 European power and natural gas traders in London as it cuts staff trading physical commodities, two people with knowledge of the matter said.

Higher Oil Taxes Would Lift, Not Hurt, U.S. Economy: Levi & Ahn

President Barack Obama this week reaffirmed his desire to tackle the U.S. budget deficit through “a balanced mix of spending cuts and more tax reform.” As lawmakers in Congress search for ways to do this, they should take a new look at raising oil taxes. Even if they don’t believe that the U.S. consumes too much oil, they will find that incorporating higher oil taxes into a broader deficit package can make strong economic sense.

Japan, Saudi Arabia to Cooperate on Nuclear Power, Nikkei Says

Japanese Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi agreed yesterday to promote nuclear cooperation with Saudi Arabia, opening the way to a resumption of nuclear technology exports, the Nikkei newspaper reported.

ASIA DAYBOOK: Suzlon, JB Hi-Fi, Indian Oil, Australian Mortgages

Today: Australia home loans; earnings from SM Prime, Tata Power; markets closed in Japan, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam.

New England Digs Out From Blizzard After Bracing for Worst (1)

Russell Mason pointed to the hole in the side of his yellow seafront home near the entrance to Boston Harbor. That’s where the cellar door was, until the hurricane- force wind gusts of a blizzard slapped it away.

U.K. Shale has Enough Gas Reserves for 1,500 Yrs: Times

New reserves est. 200 times more than pvsly thought, London-based Times reports, without saying where it got the information.

Keystone Ruling Soon, Kerry Says After Meeting Canadian Official

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Canadian counterpart for the first time yesterday and said he will decide soon on the fate of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline.

Super Bowl Blackout Caused by Faulty Relay, Entergy Says (2)

Entergy Corp., owner of the utility that supplies power to New Orleans, said a faulty electrical relay that it installed in advance of the Super Bowl caused the Feb. 3 blackout at the Superdome.

Eni Stands by Chief Scaroni as Algerian Corruption Probe Widens

Eni SpA stood by its Chief Executive Officer Paolo Scaroni as a probe into alleged bribery by Saipem SpA, where it’s the largest shareholder, widened to include him.

Chavez Risks Backlash After Venezuela Devalues Bolivar 32% (1)

Venezuela devalued its currency for the fifth time in nine years, a move that may undermine support for ailing President Hugo Chavez and his allies ahead of possible elections later this year.

Euro Declines the Most Since July Amid ECB Inflation Concern

The euro declined the most since July versus the dollar after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said a strong currency could slow the region’s economic recovery, lifting bets the bank may lower interest rates.

Dubai Shares Surge to 3-Year High on Property, Economy Outlook

Dubai’s benchmark stock index rallied to the highest level in more than three years led by Emaar Properties PJSC on investor optimism a real estate recovery in the emirate is set to continue this year.

S&P 500 Caps Longest Weekly Advance Since August Amid Earnings

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index advanced for a sixth straight week, capping the longest winning streak since August, amid better-than-estimated corporate earnings as European leaders reached a budget agreement.

Hedge Funds’ Fourth Bullish Week Boosts Copper Bets: Commodities

Hedge funds increased bullish commodity bets for the fourth straight week and became the most bullish on copper since December as signs of faster growth in the U.S. and China fueled the best start to the year since 2005.

Putin Turns Black Gold Into Bullion as Russia Out-Buys World

When Vladimir Putin says the U.S. is endangering the global economy by abusing its dollar monopoly, he’s not just talking. He’s betting on it.

Obama to Propose Spending to Boost Jobs in State of Union (1)

President Barack Obama will use his State of the Union address this week to focus on job creation and the struggles of American families, marking a renewed emphasis on the economic issues that defined his first term.

Tunisian Politicians Quit Cabinet Amid Political Tensions (2)

Ministers from the Tunisian president’s secularist party have pulled out of the Cabinet as the North African country grapples with political tensions.


Manchester United Beats Everton 2-0, Leads League by 12 Points

Manchester United beat Everton 2-0 to stretch its lead to 12 points in English soccer’s Premier League. Aston Villa beat West Ham 2-1 to move out of the relegation zone.

England Defeats Ireland 12-6 in Rugby’s Six Nations Tournament

Owen Farrell kicked all England’s points as his team beat Ireland 12-6 to top the standings after the second round of matches in European rugby’s Six Nations championship.

Ex-England Soccer Player Gascoigne in Intensive Care, Sky Says

Ex-England soccer player Paul Gascoigne has been taken into intensive care in the U.S. after his health worsened, Sky reported, citing his former Tottenham teammate Gary Mabbutt.

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

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