TOP Oil Market News: Libya’s Eastern Oil Ports to Remain Shut

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

Libya’s Eastern Oil Ports Will Stay Shut, Capping Its Oil Sales

A Libyan rebel leader refused to hand over control of three oil ports to the government, keeping a lid on the North African nation’s crude sales in a development that may buoy the price of the fuel.

Shell Exiting Woodside Seen Opening Door to China Bids: Real M&A

Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s long-awaited sale of its $6.4 billion stake in Woodside Petroleum Ltd. may open the door for Asian buyers to grab a slice of Australia’s second-largest oil and gas producer, or even the whole company.

Australian Explorer Senex Energy Said to Propose Merger With AWE

Senex Energy Ltd., an Australian oil producer, made a preliminary offer to merge with AWE Ltd., an explorer with shale fields in Australia and an oil project in Indonesia, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

Ukraine’s Azarov Seeks Russia Gas at Avg European Price: IFX

Ukraine, Russia plan to restore talks on creating trilateral consortium including EU on managing Ukraine’s gas transportation system, news service Interfax says, citing Prime Minister Mykola Azarov’s interview with Ukrainian Inter TV.

Crude Spilled While Bringing on Energy XXI Platform in Gulf: NRC

Pipeline released unknown amount of oil on Dec. 13 at 10:45 a.m. local time while bringing co. platform online in Gulf of Mexico, National Response Center filing shows.

Mol Plans More Acquisitions, Mosonyi Tells Handelsblatt

Purchase of North Sea oil and gas assets for $375m from BASF’s Wintershall unit was signal for more transactions to come, including in North Sea, Mol supervisory board head Gyorgy Mosonyi tells Handelsblatt.

Zoltav Resources to Buy GBP110m Russian Oilfield: Sunday Times

Deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow and would be largest yet by Zoltav, Sunday Times reports without saying where it got the information.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Total Spokeswoman Confirms Strikes at French Refineries

Spokeswoman declines to comment on report of halt at La Mede plant in southern France.

Koch Nitrogen Plant in Oklahoma Releases Anhydrous Ammonia: NRC

Koch Nitrogen plant in Garfield, Okla., released unknown amounts of anhydrous ammonia from seals on a leaking pump, according to filing with U.S. National Response Center.

Shell Oil Refinery Storage Tank Leaks in California: NRC Filing

Shell Martinez refinery storage tank releases 500 gallons of sulfuric acid due to blocked valve, according to filing with U.S. National Response Center.

Motiva Refinery Flares in Louisiana, NRC Filing Shows

Motiva Enterprises refinery released hydrogen sulfide in St. Charles, according to filing with U.S. National Response Center.

Shell Puget Sound Contains Gas Leak Between Refinery, Tanks

Refinery in Anacortes, Washington, identified leak in area between plant, tank farm on Dec. 9, Destin Singleton, co. spokeswoman, said by e-mail.

Canadian Crude Driving Slump in Chicago Gasoline: Energy Markets

The price of gasoline in Chicago is at a record low this month against futures as surging crude supply from Canada allows refiners to operate profitably at full capacity in the middle of the weakest demand season.

Total Port Arthur Refinery Reports Unit Upset

Total’s Port Arthur refinery reports an upset at “Unit 860,” according to filing with Texas regulator.

Shell Scotford Plant in Alberta Restarting Unit: Hotline Message

Shell’s Scotford plant in Alberta is restarting a unit as of 1230pm local time, according to a message on a community hotline.

Shell Puget Sound Refinery Plans March 2014 FCC Turnaround

Refinery in Anacortes, Wash., to perform repairs on fluid catalytic cracking unit in March, co. co said in e-mailed request for permit changes to Northwest Clean Air Agency.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Are Unchanged

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan was unchanged at 9.06 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.

TOP ENERGY STORIES

Northeast’s Snow Respite Short-Lived With Storm Expected Tuesday

Northeasterners tired of the weekend snow should get ready for more as December’s fourth winter storm is expected to pass through the U.S. region on Tuesday.

Edison Mission Faces Second Environmental Action: Bankruptcy (3)

Independent power producer Edison Mission Energy must face a second regulatory proceeding initiated by private groups seeking enforcement of Illinois environmental laws regarding coal-fired power plants.

Oil, Corn Lead Commodity Losses as S&P 500 Caps Weekly Decline

Oil and corn led a retreat in commodities while U.S. stocks capped the worst weekly loss since August. The yen rebounded after touching a five-year low while Treasuries advanced.

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.

Anadarko Drops Amid Calls for Settlement of Tronox Lawsuit (1)

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. shares fell to a 10-month low and its bonds tumbled after a court ruling that may result in a $14 billion payout, prompting calls for settlement to prevent a prolonged drag on the oil company.

AWE Rejects $674 Million Offer From Oil Producer Senex Energy

AWE Ltd., an explorer with shale fields in Australia and an oil project in Indonesia, rejected a A$752 million ($674 million) initial takeover proposal from Senex Energy Ltd., saying it undervalued its shares.

Mexico Passes Oil Bill Forecast to Lure $20 Billion a Year (1)

Mexico’s Congress approved a bill to end a 75-year state oil monopoly and generate as much as $20 billion in additional foreign investment a year.

Keystone Backed in Poll by 56% of Americans as Energy Security

More Americans view the Keystone XL oil pipeline as a benefit to U.S. energy security than as an environmental risk, even as they say Canada should do more to reduce greenhouse gases in exchange for approval of the project.

PetroChina Set to Get LNG Spot Cargo From Equatorial Guinea

PetroChina Co., China’s biggest oil and gas producer, is set to receive a liquefied natural gas spot cargo from Equatorial Guinea today, ship-tracking data show.

OTHER MARKETS

Asian Futures Fall Before Factory Data; Oil Led Commodity Drop

Asian index futures fell before manufacturing data from China to the U.S. and after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index capped its worst weekly slump since August. Crude oil, natural gas and corn led a retreat in commodities at the end of last week, while Treasuries rose.

Merkel Keeps Schaeuble as Germany Gets First Woman at Defense

Chancellor Angela Merkel presented a cabinet that keeps Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble in his post and furnishes her potential successor, Ursula von der Leyen, with the role of Germany’s first female defense minister.

Federal Reserve Tapering to U.K. Inflation: Global Economy (1)

The data docket in the U.S. this week will be eclipsed by the Federal Reserve meeting as prospects mount that policy makers will trim stimulus in response to an improving economy. Elsewhere, November price data out of the U.K. will probably show inflation is cooling toward the Bank of England’s target, German companies gained confidence in December and inflation in Brazil picked up through the middle of this month.

U.S. Stocks Close Little Changed After House Passes Budget Deal

U.S. stocks were little changed, capping the worst week for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index since August, with losses in oil producers and phone shares offsetting gains after the House of Representatives passed a budget deal.

Emerging-Market Stocks Decline Led by Samsung as Sensex Tumbles

Emerging-market stocks fell, capping a second weekly decline, as Samsung Electronics Co. paced a slump in technology companies. India’s S&P BSE Sensex dropped amid concern the central bank will raise interest rates.

Abbott Says Australia Backs Expansion of BHP’s Olympic Dam Mine

BHP Billiton Ltd., the world’s biggest mining company, will get Australian government help as it consider options for the expansion of its Olympic Dam mine, a plan shelved after metal prices declined.

U.S. Steel Plant Explosion Near Detroit Kills Worker, Injures 2

An explosion early this morning at a United States Steel Corp. plant near Detroit killed one worker and injured two others.

Merkel Begins Third Term Bolstered by SPD Backing for Coalition

Angela Merkel begins her third term as German chancellor this week buttressed by the overwhelming support of her Social Democratic coalition partner and with her veteran finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, at her side.

China to Investigate Pricing in Antitrust Drive, Regulator Says

China will begin to supervise pricing in certain industries and punish companies that break antitrust rules, the nation’s top economic planner said, after crackdowns on makers of products such as baby formula and cars.

SPORTS

U.S. Budget Vote, Fed, Tankan, BlackBerry: Week Ahead Dec. 16-21

The U.S. Senate will vote this week on a bipartisan committee’s $1.01 trillion budget agreement following its approval by the House. The proposal doesn’t touch Democrat-favored entitlement programs or corporate-tax breaks that Republicans want to protect.

Three Soccer Players Suspended by English F.A. for Gambling

Three players for a lower-league team from London were suspended and fined after violating gambling rules, English soccer’s governing body said.

FIFA Dec. Top 50 Women’s National Soccer Team Rankings (Table)

Following is a table for the top 50 women’s national soccer teams ranked by the Federation Internationale de Football Association in Zurich.

ENERGY PRICES

Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 96.60 -0.90 -0.9 Nymex Jan. Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 108.83 +0.16 +0.1 Ice undefined Gasoil ($/Ton) 917.75 -7.75 -0.8 Ice Jan. Gasoline (c/Gal) 263.47 +0.54 +0.2 Nymex Jan. Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 4.25 -0.10 -2.3 Nymex Jan. Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 108.34 -0.09 -0.1 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 298.36 +0.79 +0.3 Nymex Jan.

Other markets:

Last %Chg

----- ----- Dollar Index 80.19 -- Gold ($/Oz) 1,234.60 +0.8 MSCI World Index 1,587.69 -0.1 Prices as of 11 p.m. GMT

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

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