The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.
WTI Oil Trades Near Six-Week High as U.S. Crude Supplies Decline
West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest price since October after industry data showed crude inventories declined for a second week in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.
U.S. Sees Least Volatile Oil Prices in 17 Years: Energy Markets
Prices for West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark U.S. crude, are the least volatile in 17 years as surging domestic output expands inventories and provides a buffer against disruptions.
Fuel Oil Shipments to Asia Rise to 3.5 Million Tons in January
Fuel oil scheduled to arrive in Asia next month from Western countries rose 34 percent from a week earlier to 3.54 million metric tons, shipping data show.
Formosa Offers to Sell 10,000 Tons of Dec. Pyrolysis Fuel Oil
Refiner offers to sell pyrolysis fuel oil for Dec. 25-27 loading from Mailiao, Taiwan, according to tender information obtained by Bloomberg.
Keystone Bigger for Suncor Than TransCanada: Corporate Canada
U.S. President Barack Obama’s ruling on Keystone XL is becoming more critical for oil-sands producers such as Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. than pipeline builder TransCanada Corp.
Lotte Chemical Said to Seek Naphtha Cargoes for 1H Feb. Delivery
Co. seeks unspecified number of cargoes for 1H Feb. delivery to Yeosu and Daesan in South Korea, say two traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.
Keystone Foe Podesta Returns to White House as Decision Nears
John Podesta, a vocal opponent of the Keystone XL pipeline, is returning to the White House to shore up U.S. President Barack Obama just as the administration weighs whether to approve the project.
Indian Oil Offers to Sell 15,000 Tons of Fuel Oil for January
Co. offers to sell 380-cst fuel oil for Jan. 5-7 loading from Haldia port, according to tender information obtained by Bloomberg News.
EIA Increases Forecast for U.S. Gasoline Consumption
The Energy Information Administration increased its forecast of U.S. gasoline demand this year by 0.5 percent to 8.77 million barrels a day from its November outlook.
EIA Leaves 2014 Oil-Price Forecast Unchanged as Output Gains (2)
The Energy Information Administration left its 2014 forecast for West Texas Intermediate prices unchanged at $95 a barrel and said U.S. domestic crude production rose to a 25-year high last month.
Libyan Ports That Buoyed Brent Crude Seen Reopening in Days (1)
Ports in eastern Libya that helped boost international oil prices when they were halted more than four months ago are within days of reopening, the head of the nation’s energy-protection force said.
OPEC Trims Output to Least in 2 Years as Saudi Arabia Cuts (2)
OPEC reduced crude production in November to the lowest level in more than two years as output dropped below the organization’s 30 million barrel-a-day ceiling for a third month.
REFINERIES Map global refinery outages
Motiva Norco Refinery Releases Hydrogen, Ethylene: NRC Filing
No reason provided for release of chemicals into atmosphere at 11:20 a.m. local time yesterday, according to filing with National Response Center.
Citgo Lemont, Illinois, Refinery Has Emissions Due to Upset: NRC
Refinery releases sulfur dioxide because of “upset,” according to filing with the National Response Center.
LG Chem to Shut Yeosu Plant for 30 Days in October 2014
LG Chem plans to shut naphtha cracker at Yeosu, South Korea, for about 30 days of scheduled maintenance in October next year, co. says in e-mailed reply to questions.
Shell Martinez Refinery Reports Leak in Demersol Plant
Operations at the Shell Martinez refinery weren’t affected by a leak of catalyst from a tank at a dimersol plant on Dec. 6, Shell spokeswoman Destin Singleton said in an e-mail.
Gulf Gasoline Tumbles to Four-Month Low on Port Arthur Restart
U.S. Gulf Coast gasoline tumbled to the lowest level in more than four months after the nation’s largest refinery restarted and a Louisiana plant returned to planned rates, signaling increases in production.
Syncrude Coker 8-2 Maintenance Scheduled for 2Q to 3Q 2014
The 45-day maintenance work on Syncrude Coker 8-2 will occur in both 2Q and 3Q, with most of the work taking place in 3Q, Canadian Oil Sands spokeswoman Siren Fisekci says in e-mail.
EIA Says Weekly Inventory Reports to Be Released on Schedule
Weekly inventory reports will be released on normal schedule, EIA says in a message posted on Twitter
Total’s La Mede Oil Refinery in France Had LPG Leak, Co. Says
Leak detected in storage area today at 1030am local time, Total says in e-mailed statement.
OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS
Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Rise 2.6 %
The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan rose 2.6 percent to 8.85 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.
Trafigura Buys Forties; North Sea Crude to South Korea at Record
Trafigura Beheer BV bought two cargoes of North Sea Forties crude at a lower premium than yesterday. Vitol Group failed to sell Nigerian Qua Iboe grade in the Platts pricing window. No bids or offers were made for Russian Urals.
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
Volcker Rule Ushers in Era of Increased Oversight of Trades (3)
Wall Street faces more intensive government scrutiny of trading after U.S. regulators issued what they billed as a strict Volcker rule today, imposing new curbs designed to prevent financial blowups while leaving many details to be worked out later.
S&P 500 Falls From Record While Commodities Gain as Dollar Drops
U.S. stocks fell, pulling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index down from a record, and the yen strengthened as concern American lawmakers will fail to reach a budget deal overshadowed better-than-estimated economic data. Oil, gold and coffee led commodity gains as the dollar weakened.
Flight-Grounding Snow Ends in New York as Airline Delays Linger
Northeast Commuters Face Slog in Slush as Washington Shuts (1)
Commuters heading to work in New York and the U.S. Northeast may be looking at a coating of snow as a fast-moving weather system runs up the East Coast. Federal offices in Washington are closed.
Obama Pollution Rule Revival Weighed by U.S. Supreme Court (3)
U.S. Supreme Court justices hinted they might revive one of President Barack Obama’s biggest air- quality efforts, a rule that would curb emissions from coal- fired power plants in 28 states.
Solar Boom Boosts South Africa Salaries With 25% Jobless: Energy
Ramone van Wyk’s wage more than quadrupled when he gave up working on sheep farms in South Africa’s arid Northern Cape province and got a job assembling a solar-thermal power plant for Abengoa SA.
BHP Looks at Expansion in Trinidad, Tobago Amid Asset Sales (1)
BHP Billiton Ltd., Australia’s largest oil and gas producer, is studying expansion in Trinidad and Tobago, nominating the Caribbean nation as a potential third main production region along with the U.S. and Australia.
Coal India Declines After Antitrust Penalty Order: Mumbai Mover
Coal India Ltd., the nation’s biggest producer, fell the most in more than eight weeks after it was fined 17.7 billion rupees ($288 million) for abusing its dominant position.
French Gas Supplies Reach Limit Amid Cold, GRTgaz Director Says
French natural gas supplies are at their limit as a cold snap in northern parts of the country is poised to boost demand for heating in the coming days, according to the director of pipeline network operator GRTgaz.
U.K. Urged to Maintain Carbon Target Even as Energy Costs Climb
The U.K.’s ambition to cut carbon emissions by half is achievable and mustn’t be watered down, the government’s adviser on global warming said, lowering the chance ministers will scale back targets.
Asian Stocks Drop With Metals as Yen Extends Gains Against Peers
Asian stocks fell for the first time in three days and precious metals slid as investors weighed the outlook for a paring of Federal Reserve stimulus after American lawmakers unveiled a budget deal. The yen gained versus major peers.
Dollar Halts Decline as Budget Deal Boost Fed Taper Prospects
The dollar halted decline versus the euro on bets a U.S. budget agreement will boost prospects for tapering the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program which tends to debase the currency.
BlackRock Avoids Fed-Depressed Dollar in Carry Trade: Currencies
The dollar is becoming too expensive for investors in Asia to use as a source for funding carry trades in the region, a development that may help extend the currency’s best annual gain since 2008 into next year.
Asia Stocks Fall as Investors Weigh Timing of Fed Stimulus Cut
Asian stocks fell, with the regional benchmark gauge sliding for the first time in three days, as investors weighed the timing of a reduction in the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented stimulus.
Morgan Stanley Sees ‘Acute’ Talent Battle for Equity Traders (1)
Morgan Stanley is seeing an “acute” battle for equity traders after rising to the top spot in revenue last quarter, said Colm Kelleher, head of the firm’s investment bank and trading division.
Robusta Seen Dropping as Vietnamese Sales Set to Accelerate (1)
Robusta coffee, used by Nestle SA in instant drinks, will probably decline from a three-month high as farmers in Vietnam increase sales from a record crop and roasters turn to milder arabica beans.
Rebels Seen Blocking Farm Changes Sought by Cargill: Commodities
Investors from Cargill Inc. to airline magnate German Efromovich want to develop more land in Colombia for plantations. A government plan to help them do so was stopped in its tracks days ago.
Uruguay Becomes World’s First Nation to Legalize Marijuana (1)
Uruguay, a nation of 3.3 million tucked between Argentina and Brazil, became the world’s first nation to legalize the cultivation, sale and use of marijuana in a move aimed at curbing the cost of combating drug trafficking.
Obama Urges Leaders at Memorial to Carry Forward Mandela Legacy
President Barack Obama delivered a eulogy for Nelson Mandela that mixed an ode to a personal hero with a critique of national leaders who fall short of the example he set.
Slim’s Billionaire Rivalry Playing Out on Mexico’s Soccer Fields
Mexican billionaires Carlos Slim and Emilio Azcarraga, who typically go head-to-head for phone customers and TV viewers, are taking their rivalry to the soccer field this week in their country’s championship game.
Sony Should Extend World Cup Sponsorship, Brazil Executive Says
Sony Corp. should extend its sponsorship with soccer’s governing body FIFA and the World Cup beyond next year’s tournament, according to the president of its Brazil operation.
South Africa’s City of Gold Stirred Mandela’s Political Drive
Nelson Mandela spent his last days in a double-story villa in Johannesburg’s plush Houghton suburb, an area where he would only have been able to live as a servant to wealthy whites during apartheid.
Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract
---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 97.79 +0.45 +0.5 Nymex Jan. Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 109.85 +0.46 +0.4 Ice undefined Gasoil ($/Ton) 935.00 -0.50 -0.1 Ice Jan. Gasoline (c/Gal) 268.41 +0.92 +0.3 Nymex Jan. Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 4.24 +0.01 +0.2 Nymex Jan. Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 109.81 +0.65 +0.6 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 302.50 +1.07 +0.4 Nymex Jan.
----- ----- Dollar Index 80.11 -- Gold ($/Oz) 1,234.20 +0.4 MSCI World Index 1,618.46 +0.1 Prices as of 6 a.m. GMT
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