TOP Oil Market News: WTI Gains a Third Day on Stockpile Forecast

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

WTI Oil Gains a Third Day as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Seen Falling

West Texas Intermediate rose for a third day amid forecasts crude stockpiles dropped last week for the first time since September in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.

TOP OIL MARKET NEWS

Hedge Fund Bullish Gas Bets Surge on Cold Blast: Energy Markets

Hedge funds became more bullish on natural gas with bets on rising prices gaining the most in 10 months as wintry weather reduced stockpiles of the heating fuel.

No OPEC Output Cut as Oil Demand Rises to Record, Nomura Says

OPEC doesn’t need to “cut output to keep oil prices buoyant at current levels”, Gordon Kwan, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Nomura, comments in email today.

Billionaire Seeks to Double Cairn Oil Output: Corporate India

Billionaire Anil Agarwal has asked Cairn India Ltd., which enjoys the highest profit margin among the top Asian oil companies, to explore ways to double output as his mining business in the South Asian nation founders.

Rio Tinto to Halve Capital Spending by 2015 in Focus on Cash (3)

Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second- biggest mining company, will cut capital spending to about $8 billion in 2015, less than half its outlay last year, as mineral producers conserve cash after prices fell.

Petronas Said to Sell Tapis Oil at Lower Levels for Second Month

Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state oil company, sold 350,000 barrels of Tapis crude for January loading at about $6.20 a barrel more than Dated Brent, said two traders.

OPEC

Al-Naimi Says Crude Market Balanced as OPEC Seen Keeping Target

Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al- Naimi said the global oil market is “in equilibrium” in the run-up to an OPEC meeting at which members are expected to keep the group’s production target unchanged.

OPEC Will Probably Maintain Current Output Target, Delegates Say

OPEC will probably stick with its current production target as demand for its crude next year will be at a similar level, said three delegates from the group.

OPEC Inaction Masks Looming Supply Glut in 2014: Energy Markets

Even with OPEC forecast to keep its output quota unchanged at a meeting this week, falling oil demand and prospects for increased supply from some member states mean the group’s leader, Saudi Arabia, will have to cut production anyway.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Marathon Canton Refinery Releases Hydrofluoric Acid: NRC Filing

Refinery has release of hydrofluoric acid from an analyzer sample station due to unknown causes, according to filing with the National Response Center.

Retail Gasoline in U.S. Declines as Refiners Restore Production

U.S. retail gasoline fell for the first time in three weeks, led by a decline in the Midwest region, as refiners restored production.

S. Korea May Delay Restart of 3 Reactors to Next Year: Yonhap

3 nuclear reactors, which were shut down in May over faked quality certificates, may not be able to resume operations this year, Yonhap News reports, citing unidentified industry officials.

Tesoro Carson Refinery Flaring Related to Equipment Upset

Co. doesn’t expect upset to affect its ability to meet supply commitments to customers, Tina Barbee, co. spokeswoman, said by e-mail.

Citgo Lake Charles Refinery Restarts Reformer After Fire

Refinery in La. restarted the “A reformer,” company said in e-mailed statement.

Valero, PDVSA May Restart 5 Units at Aruba Refinery: Reuters

Reuters cites people familiar.

Repsol Reports Incident at Spain Bilbao Refinery Diesel Unit

Incident occurred at 11 am local time “during work at diesel desulfurization unit 3,” co. says in statement on Petronor refinery website.

Sinopec Qingdao Plant Runs at ‘Lower-Than-Normal’ Rate: ICIS-C1

Plant operating at “lower-than- normal” rates, Jean Zou, oil analyst at Shanghai-based consultant, says by phone from Guangzhou today, without elaborating.

BP Cherry Point Refinery Has ‘Compressor Malfunction:’ NRC

BP refinery in Washington state releases sulfur dioxide because of malfunction, according to a report on the National Response Center Website.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Los Angeles Jet Fuel Hits 7-Month High as Tankers Seen Exporting

Jet fuel in Los Angeles and gasoline in San Francisco gained as at least three tankers were seen heading to California to export refined products.

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Rise 2.9 %

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan rose 2.9 percent to 7.77 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.

Shell Sells Urals Crude; Libya Maintains December Es Sider Price

BP Plc failed to buy North Sea Forties crude at a bigger premium than the previous session. Royal Dutch Shell Plc sold Russian Urals blend in the Mediterranean, the first trade in five weeks and the highest price in more than four months.

Dubai Oil Premium Reaches Two-Year High as Shell Buys Record (2)

Middle East crude for immediate delivery traded at its biggest premium in two years to later shipments last month after Royal Dutch Shell Plc bought an unprecedented number of cargoes.

Crude Official Selling Prices and Formulas by Country (Table)

The following table shows official prices, formulas and relative values for crude grades from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Figures are in U.S. dollars a barrel, or premiums and discounts to regional benchmarks where plus and minus symbols appear.

TOP ENERGY STORIES

Petrobras Plunges as Brazil Fails to Signal End of Fuel Subsidy

Petroleo Brasileiro SA fell the most in five years after the government failed to meet a request by the state-run company to disclose a clear policy for phasing out fuel subsidies that have cut earnings and increased debt.

Oman Billionaire Found Building Moving Pools for Superyachts (2)

From an office overlooking the Oceanco shipyard in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands, energy tycoon Mohammed al-Barwani watched workers putting the finishing touches on a yacht that’s longer than a football field.

Worst Raw-Material Slump Since ’08 Seen Deepening: Commodities

The commodity slump that spurred bear markets in everything from gold to corn to sugar this year will deepen by the end of December as prices head for their first annual loss since 2008, if history is any guide.

Cocaine-for-Venezuelan Fuel Tankers Irks Colombian Tax Boss (2)

Criminal gangs are shipping the equivalent of 60 to 100 tanker trucks of subsidized Venezuelan fuel per day into Colombia, much of it paid for with cocaine, according to the Colombian government.

Canada at ‘Crossroads’ in Bid to Be Crude Export Superpower (1)

Canada’s bid to become what Prime Minister Stephen Harper calls an energy “superpower” is at risk as approval delays for new pipelines threaten an industry already hurt by high costs and rival production.

Natural Gas Snaps Rally on Forecasts for Moderate U.S. Weather

Natural gas futures fell in New York for the first time in nine days, snapping the longest rising streak since October 2006 amid forecasts for moderate temperatures in the U.S.

Shell to GE Lured by Gas-Fueled Ships on Record Supply: Freight

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, General Electric Co. and a company co-founded by T. Boone Pickens are planning investments in natural-gas-powered shipping as record U.S. output spurs the merchant fleet to use a new fuel.

YPF-Repsol Detente Paves Way for Bond Offering: Argentina Credit

Argentina’s agreement with Repsol SA to end a 19-month compensation dispute after the nationalization of YPF SA is spurring a rally in the state-run energy company’s bonds and opening a window for a new debt sale.

Gazprom Tumbles as Ukrainian Passage at Risk: Russia Overnight

OAO Gazprom declined to a three-month low in New York amid the biggest political protests since 2004 in Ukraine, a key route for natural gas shipments to the European Union.

Tenaga Jumps Most Since 2008 on Price Boost: Kuala Lumpur Mover

Tenaga Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s national power distributor, surged the most in five years and led the country’s benchmark equity index to an all-time high after the government allowed the company to raise power prices.

OTHER MARKETS

Asia Stocks Outside Japan Snap 7-day Rally as Currencies Weaken

Asian stocks outside Japan fell for the first time in eight days and the region’s currencies weakened after stronger U.S. manufacturing data boosted speculation the Federal Reserve may pare stimulus sooner than anticipated. Oil advanced.

Dollar Rises to 6-Month High as Tapering Weighed Amid Recovery

The dollar rose to its strongest versus the yen in more than six months as investors weigh whether signs of a strengthening economy will be enough for the Federal Reserve to reduce stimulus.

Shekel Seen Tumbling as Israel Boosts Intervention: Currencies

Israel’s efforts to curb the shekel’s world-beating advance and make the Middle Eastern nation more competitive are finally winning the support of currency traders.

Asian Stocks Outside Japan Decline on Fed Tapering Speculation

Asian stocks outside Japan fell, with the equity gauge heading for its first drop in eight days, as signs the U.S. economy is strengthening fueled speculation that the Federal Reserve will soon start tapering stimulus.

China IPO Flood Seen Bursting Small-Cap Bubble: Chart of the Day

The benchmark index for Chinese small-company stocks will probably enter a bear market after the government’s plan to resume initial public offerings sparked a record rout yesterday, Bocom International Holdings Co. said.

Gold Climbs From Five-Month Low After Biggest Drop Since October

Gold advanced from a five-month low, after the biggest one-day drop since October, as investors assessed whether the U.S. economy is strong enough to warrant a reduction in monetary stimulus.

Gold Bulls Retreat as Prices Drop to Four-Month Low: Commodities

Hedge funds grew less bullish on gold for a fourth straight week, the longest stretch since November 2012, as mounting concern that the Federal Reserve will curb monetary stimulus sent prices to a four-month low.

Ukraine Protest Violence Corners Yanukovych as Choices Dwindle

Ukraine’s biggest protests in almost a decade are pushing President Viktor Yanukovych into a corner.

Australia Food-Bowl Dream at Risk as Foreigners Shunned: Economy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s election pledge to turn Australia’s remote north into a food bowl for Asia has set him on a collision course with his own government over foreign ownership of agricultural land.

SPORTS

Real Madrid, Barcelona Fined by Regulator on TV Contracts

Real Madrid, Barcelona and broadcaster Mediapro were fined for breaking Spanish competition rules because their contracts for league and cup soccer games lasts longer than three years.

Fulham Manager Martin Jol Leaves Premier League Soccer Club

Fulham manager Martin Jol has left the Premier League soccer club, with head coach Rene Meulensteen taking responsibility of the first team.

Deadly Accident at Brazil World Cup Arena to Bring Delay (1)

The damage caused two days ago in a deadly accident at the stadium that will host the opening match of next year’s soccer World Cup in Brazil will set back work by two months, the facility’s structural engineer said.

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

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