TOP Oil Market News: WTI Crude Trades Near Highest in Six Weeks

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

WTI Trades Near Six-Week High as U.S. Fuel Supplies Seen Falling

West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the highest price in six weeks on forecasts that U.S. distillate stockpiles shrank as colder weather boosted demand for heating fuels.

Drillers Seen Gaining From Oil-State Senators Atop Key Committee

They’re senior senators from two of the nation’s top oil-producing states, longtime friends who are about to begin a partnership that has environmentalists uneasy and industry lobbyists counting on a shift in energy policy.

Kuwait Cuts March Crude Price to Asia at 60 Cts/bbl Discount

Kuwait Petroleum Corp. reduced official selling price for March crude shipments to Asia by 30 cts/bbl, co. says in e-mailed statement.

Gracewood Former Deputy Manager Starts Trading Firm in Singapore

Alex Ng, former deputy general manager at Gracewood Petroleum Singapore, starts Hendon Energy Pte, he says in interview.

Formosa Petrochemical Offers Two Gasoil Cargoes Loading in March

Taiwanese refiner offers to sell 300,000 bbl with 10ppm of sulfur for March 1-5 loading from Mailiao, say three traders who participate in the market, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential.

Petrolimex Seeks to Buy Two Gasoline Cargoes for March Loading

Vietnam’s biggest fuel retailer seeks 2 x 30,000 mt of 92-RON grade for March 1-5 and March 20-24 loading, according to tender document obtained by Bloomberg.

HPCL Offers to Sell Fuel Oil for March 1-5 Loading From Vizag

Hindustan Petroleum, known as HPCL, offers to sell one or more cargoes of 25,000-30,000 mt each for loading from Vizag on India’s east coast, according to tender document obtained by Bloomberg.

China May Import 35 Mln Mt Crude From Iran in 2014: CNPC Report

China may import total of 310 mln-420 mln mt/yr of crude in 2015-2020, Yue Laiqun, researcher at Land and Resources Ministry, says in report published on CNPC newsletter website.

OPEC

Iran Plans to Offer Better Oil Exploration Terms Than Iraq (2)

Iran will offer international companies better oil contracts than OPEC-rival Iraq as the Islamic republic seeks long-term investment to revive its energy industry, a government adviser said.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Jobs Beat Profit in Europe Refining as States Intervene: Energy

From Croatia to Scotland, governments and unions seeking to save jobs are making it harder to close unprofitable oil refineries, eating into the earnings of companies including Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA.

Chevron Has Process Upset at El Segundo Refinery: NRC Filing

Process upset at El Segundo, California, refinery resulted in a release of sulfur dioxide at 8:24 a.m. local time yesterday, according to filing with National Response Center.

MORE: Chevron El Segundo Refinery Reports Process Upset

Flaring will last through 2pm local time, according to filing with South Coast Air Quality Management.

Hedge Funds Boost Diesel Bets With Supply at Decade Low: Energy

Hedge funds are the most bullish on diesel in almost five months as the coldest January in 20 years boosted demand and cut U.S. supply to the lowest in a decade.

OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS

Group Blocking East Libya Ports Says Seeking 15% of Oil Revenue

The group that declared Libya’s eastern region semi-autonomous and is blocking ports handling more than half the country’s oil exports says it wants 15 percent of the revenue from national crude sales.

TOP ENERGY STORIES

Boardwalk Drops Most Ever After Cutting Investor Payout 81% (1)

Boardwalk Pipeline Partners LP, the natural gas transporter majority owned by Loews Corp., tumbled the most in almost four years after slashing quarterly payments to investors 81 percent as cash flow drops.

Kuwait $40,000-a-Head Surplus Makes Austerity a Hard Sell (1)

Kuwait’s budget surplus adds up to almost $40,000 per citizen, one reason it’s hard to convince people like Nouf Mohammed that the government should spend less on services and subsidies for her.

Total Quickens Drilling as $7.3B Campaign Finds Dry Holes (1)

Total SA began life as Cie Francaise des Petroles, or CFP, almost a century ago. Thirty years since changing its name, the French oil giant is fighting to prevent its “Can’t Find Petroleum” moniker from coming back.

Chinese Coal Firms’ Debt Concerns Sink Shares: Chart of the Day

Shares of China’s biggest listed coal producers have dropped to their lowest valuations on record as falling fuel prices make it harder to repay debt.

Natural Gas Rebounds From Three-Week Low on U.S. Winter Storm

Natural gas rebounded from the lowest price in three weeks as a winter storm spread snow and sleet across the southern U.S., bolstering heating demand.

Tesla Seeks China Green Car Incentives as Shares Rise to Record

Tesla Motors Inc., the youngest and smallest publicly traded U.S. automaker, wants its Model S to qualify for China’s electric car subsidies that the government said will remain more valuable than initially planned.

OTHER MARKETS

Stocks Rise Before Yellen as Treasuries Decline; Aussie Advances

Stocks rose, sending the global benchmark index higher for a fifth day, and Treasuries fell before Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen addresses Congress. The Australian dollar strengthened, while Kazakhstan devalued its currency.

Dollar Declines for Fifth Day Before Yellen Speaks; Aussie Jumps

The dollar weakened for a fifth day against the euro before Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen speaks to lawmakers today amid signs the U.S. economic recovery is losing momentum.

Taiwan Dollar Emerging as New Asia Funding Favorite: Currencies

A looser monetary policy by Taiwan’s central bank is helping the local dollar provide the best returns for funding carry trades in Asia, generating profits during the worst slump in emerging-market currencies since 2008.

Gold Gains to Highest Since November on Dollar, Physical Demand

Gold rose to the highest level since November in the longest rally since August as a weakened dollar spurred demand. Silver extended the best streak in almost six months.

Sugar Traders Split as Brazil Dryness Weighed Against Surpluses

Sugar traders are divided on the outlook for prices, with some concentrating on dryness in leading producer Brazil that may cut output and others focused on excess supplies with another year of surplus.

Rouhani Seeks Economic Fix as Iran Commemorates Revolution (2)

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had foreign-policy successes to showcase when he spoke in Tehran’s Azadi Square today to mark the 35th anniversary of Iran’s Islamic revolution. The economic gains will follow, he said.

Thai Opposition Turns to Rice Farmers in Political Stalemate (2)

Thailand’s opposition movement is reaching out to rice farmers to break a political stalemate as the nation awaits official election results, seeking to turn a source of support for Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra.

SPORTS

Gay NFL Prospect’s Appeal to Endorsers Will Depend on His Play

Michael Sam’s income from off-field activities will be determined by his on-field performance and not his sexual orientation.

Bode Miller’s Bid for Medal Fades in Sochi’s Warm Weather (1)

Bode Miller, trying to become the oldest Olympic Alpine skiing medalist, said his chances in his next race are slimmer because warmer conditions are changing the slopes at the Sochi Winter Games.

Dutch Sweep Speedskating as Hoefl-Riesch Earns Olympic Ski Gold

The Mulder twins led a Dutch sweep of a speedskating sprint and Germany’s Maria Hoefl-Riesch kept her super combined Alpine skiing title by overcoming American Julia Mancuso on a balmy day at the Sochi Games.

Zimbabwe Fields Its First Winter Olympic Team: One Guy on Skis

Luke Steyn wasn’t born the last time it snowed in Zimbabwe. Still, that hasn’t stopped the 20-year-old skier from becoming the African nation’s first winter Olympian.

ENERGY PRICES

Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 100.35 +0.29 +0.3 Nymex March Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 109.02 +0.39 +0.4 ICE March Gasoil ($/Ton) 920.25 +1.75 +0.2 ICE March Gasoline (c/Gal) 274.23 +1.75 +0.6 Nymex March Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 4.63 +0.05 +1.1 Nymex March Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 108.80 +0.67 +0.6 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 300.97 +1.16 +0.4 Nymex March

Other markets:

Last %Chg

----- ----- Dollar Index 1,023.08 -0.1 Gold ($/Oz) 1,285.01 +0.8 MSCI World Index 397.23 +0.3 Prices as of noon London time

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Verdonck in London at rverdonck@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alaric Nightingale at anightingal1@bloomberg.net

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