The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.
WTI Oil Drops a Second Day on Concern China Fuel Demand May Slow
West Texas Intermediate crude fell for a second day amid speculation that China’s fuel demand will shrink as economic growth slows in the world’s second-biggest oil consumer.
Speculators Boost Bullish Oil Wagers Most in Six Months: Energy
South Korea Chooses Feb. 5 for N. Korea Talks on Reunions
South Korea’s unification ministry comments in e-mailed statement.
Japan Utilities Offset Idled Reactor Losses by Lifting Rates (1)
Japanese utilities including Tokyo Electric Power Co. leaned on customer rate increases to boost their financial performances in the first nine months of their fiscal years, as idled nuclear plants kept fuel costs high.
Tanker Accident Leaks 164 Tons of Oil Into S. Korea Sea: Yonhap
~164 tons of crude and oil products spilled after a tanker collided with pier at port of GS Caltex in Yeosu on Jan. 31, Yonhap News reports, citing Yeosu Coast Guard.
Libya Revival Pressures Analyst 1Q Oil Forecast Below Market
BI OILS EU SBMETR The mean analyst 1Q Brent oil-price estimate remains more pessimistic than the forward price. The impact of January’s reinitiation of Libyan oil exports, after the resolution of social disputes, damped the steady price ascent stemming from civil unrest in other Middle East countries, such as Egypt and Syria. While an improving economy is boosting European demand, driving prices higher, increased Iranian supply after the end of sanctions may create bearish momentum.
Vector Says High Court Ruled in its Favor After Appeal by Shell
Vector comments in e-mailed statement.
Shell’s Australian Assets Draw Bids Over A$3b: AFR
Vitol and Abu Dhabi Investment Council vying with Macquarie Capital and Glencore Xtrata for Shell’s Australian refinery and petrol stations, reports Australian Financial Review, without saying where it got the information.
REFINERIES Map global refinery outages
Phillips 66 Has Emissions at Ponca City Refinery: NRC Filing
Phillips 66’s Ponca City, Okla., refinery released refinery fuel gas (benzene) into the air during maintenance work, according to a report taken by the National Response Center on Jan. 31.
Houston Ship Channel Dredge Work Is Complete, Coast Guard Say
All traffic was reopened on the Houston Ship Channel between Lights 67 and 75 at 9am local time after dredge operations were completed, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Service in Houston/Galveston
California Received Record Volume of Oil by Rail in December
California oil-by-rail receipts surged 18% in Dec. to 1.05m bbls from a month ago, state Energy Commission says on website.
Spot Diesel in Los Angeles Weakens With Output at One-Month High
Spot California-blend, or CARB, diesel in Los Angeles retreated 4.75c/gal. relative to ultra- low-sulfur-diesel futures traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange to a discount of 7.5c/gal. at 355pm N.Y. time, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
New York Prompt Diesel Jumps as Refinery Outages Lower Supply
Ultra low sulfur diesel in New York Harbor gained versus futures as increased heating fuel demand and refinery outages crimped supply.
Exxon Seeking to Restart Billings Refinery as Soon as Possible
XOM spokesman Todd Spitler comments in e-mailed statement.
Lyondell Houston Coker to Return to Normal Rates Late February
Refinery coker had operational problem in December that caused it to reduce rates, LyondellBasell CEO Jim Gallogly said on earnings conference call
Motiva Norco Said to Resume Maintenance After Weather Delay
Motiva Enterprises LLC has restarted work on a hydrocracker and a naphtha hydrotreater at its Norco refinery in southern Louisiana after a delay because of cold weather, a person familiar with operations said.
OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS
Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Rise 3.0 %
The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan rose 3.0 percent to 7.29 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
PREVIEW: BHP, Rio Tinto Contractor Margins Squeezed by Less Work
Australian mining, resource services contractors may see increased competition for available work, putting pressure on margins, analysts say, as companies including BHP, Rio Tinto continue their cost-cutting programs.
Sembcorp Industries to Buy Stake in NCC Power for S$175m
Co. signed conditional agreement to buy 45% of NCC Power Projects, which is currently building a 1,320-megawatt coal-fired power plant: exchange filing.
Danish Premier Struggles to Build Cabinet Amid Goldman Fallout
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt will spend the weekend scraping together a new Cabinet after a coalition partner walked out to protest Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s investment in a state-owned utility.
WTI Oil Falls on Emerging-Market Risk as Discount to Brent Slips
West Texas Intermediate crude fell from the highest level of 2014 on concern that developing economies may shrink. The U.S. benchmark grade’s discount to Brent oil narrowed to the least in more than three months.
Masuzoe Keeps Lead Over Hosokawa in Tokyo Governor Race: Nikkei
Former Japanese health minister Yoichi Masuzoe continues his lead in the Feb. 9 Tokyo governor election, according to a survey conducted by Nikkei newspaper Jan. 30-Feb. 2.
Natural Gas Declines a Third Day on Milder U.S. Weather Outlook
Natural gas fell a third day in New York as the outlook for milder U.S. weather this month may signal lower demand for the heating fuel.
Danish Premier Builds Cabinet as Goldman Deal Splits Coalition
Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning- Schmidt is rebuilding her Cabinet after a coalition partner quit in protest over allowing Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to buy a stake in the state-owned energy company.
Vestas Forecast to Return to Profit After Two Years of Cost Cuts
Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the biggest wind turbine maker, may report its first quarterly profit in 2 1/2 years following a turnaround plan that aimed to reduce costs and slash 30 percent of its workforce.
Snow Set to Snarl NYC Commute, Grounds Hundreds of Flights
Hundreds of flights across the U.S. are being canceled as a winter storm threatens to drop snow, ice and sleet from Arkansas to Connecticut, including as much as 8 inches (20 centimeters) in New York City.
Russia Said to Weigh $150 Million Tax Refund for Oil Exporters
Russian crude oil producers from OAO Rosneft to OAO Lukoil may gain compensation of as much as $150 million after a cut in export duties was delayed by a month, two officials with knowledge of the matter said.
Asian Stocks Drop as Copper Extends Loss Streak on China Concern
Asian stocks fell, dragging the benchmark regional index toward a five-month low, and copper headed for its longest losing streak in 18 years after a Chinese manufacturing gauge dropped. New Zealand’s dollar strengthened.
Euro Trades Near 2-Month Low on ECB Policy Outlook; Yen Declines
The euro was 0.1 percent from its lowest level in more than two months on concern weakening inflation pressures in the region will prompt the European Central Bank to ease monetary policy.
Options Show World-Beating Shekel to Give Back: Israel Markets
The shekel’s best days may be over as the government and central bank step up efforts to weaken the world’s best-performing major currency last year.
Record Momentum Unwinding in S&P 500 as China Quashes Euphoria
After U.S. stocks gained 30 percent last year and almost everything went up, measures of Standard & Poor’s 500 Index price momentum are slipping just as concern mounts that emerging markets will snuff out the rally.
Microsoft Investors Say Nadella Safe Pick, Glad Search Ends (3)
The most exciting part of elevating Satya Nadella to chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. may be that it would end the search to replace Steve Ballmer, investors in the world’s biggest software maker said.
Copper Set for Longest Slump Since 1996 on China Manufacturing
Copper fell for a ninth day, the longest losing streak since January 1996, after manufacturing slowed in China, the world’s largest user of base metals. Aluminum traded near a four-year low.
Thai Vote Fails to Ease Tensions as Protesters Disrupt Polls (2)
Thai voters cast ballots across almost 90 percent of the country yesterday, defying efforts of protesters who disrupted polling stations in a general election where the results may not be certified for several months.
Christie Faces Challenge to Agenda Amid Lane-Closing Probe (1)
Buoyed by the largest win of any New Jersey Republican running for governor in three decades, Chris Christie began the year with an ambitious legislative agenda and designs on the U.S. presidency.
Chelsea Spending Tops $70 Million as Zouma Signs for Mourinho
Chelsea’s spending in the January transfer window rose to 43.5 million pounds ($71.5 million) as French defender Kurt Zouma became Blues coach Jose Mourinho’s latest signing.
KKR Invests in Top Berlin Soccer Club to Provide ‘Quantum Leap’
Private equity firm KKR & Co. acquired a 9.7 percent stake in Hertha Berlin for 61.2 million euros ($82.6 million), the German soccer club said.
England Cricket Coach Flower Quits Following Ashes Series Rout
Andy Flower quit as England cricket coach following the 5-0 Ashes series loss in Australia, the England and Wales Cricket Board said.
Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract
---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 97.09 -0.40 -0.4 Nymex March Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 106.40 -- -- Ice March Gasoil ($/Ton) 906.25 -5.50 -0.6 Ice March Gasoline (c/Gal) 263.42 +0.28 +0.1 Nymex March Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 4.82 -0.13 -2.5 Nymex March Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 106.51 -0.69 -0.6 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 299.92 +0.21 +0.1 Nymex March Other markets:
----- ----- Dollar Index 81.23 -0.1 Gold ($/Oz) 1,239.80 -0.2 MSCI World Index 1,595.96 -0.2 Prices as of 6 a.m. GMT
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