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TOP Oil Market News: WTI Crude Rises Above $100; Brent Declines

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March 20 (Bloomberg) -- The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.

WTI Oil Rises Above $100 After Cushing Supply Drops; Brent Slips

West Texas Intermediate crude climbed above $100 a barrel after a government report showed that inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the contract, dropped for a seventh week. Brent oil decreased.


JPMorgan to Sell Physical Commodities Unit for $3.5 Billion (2)

JPMorgan Chase & Co. will sell its physical commodities unit to Mercuria Energy Group Ltd. for $3.5 billion, ending a five-year foray into owning and storing raw materials amid pressure from regulators to leave the business.

U.S. Crude Oil Production Rises to Highest in Almost 26 Years

U.S. crude-oil production rose to the highest level in almost 26 years last week as imports declined, the Energy Information Administration reported.

U.S. Crude-Oil Imports Fall to Lowest Since 1997, EIA Says

Crude imports fell to 7.192m b/d in the four weeks ended March 14, the EIA said.

Gasoline Drops on Speculation Supply to Climb as Plant Work Ebbs

Gasoline futures fell amid speculation that seasonal refinery maintenance has peaked and fuel stockpiles will begin rising.

Ethanol Leads Gains Among Commodities Amid Rail Car Shortage

Ethanol futures jumped to a nine- month high, gaining more than 24 other commodities today, amid a shortage of rail cars and a decline in U.S. inventories.

BP’s Gulf Redemption May Take Decade to Help Revive Production

BP Plc’s bids for its first new U.S. offshore leases in two years may not add any barrels of production until the middle of the next decade.

WAF Crude: BPCL Buys 3 Nigeria Cargoes; Sonangol Offers 13 Lots

Bharat Petroleum buys 2 cargoes of Qua Iboe from Exxon Mobil, 1 of Agbami from Chevron, according to 3 traders with knowledge of tender, asking not to be identified because information is confidential.

HeidelbergCement Says U.S. ‘Power Games’ Over Crimea Pose Risk

Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG said its earnings would be hurt if the U.S. government decides to release strategic oil and gas reserves to punish Russia over the crisis in Crimea.

HeidelbergCement Says U.S. ‘Power Games’ Over Crimea Pose Risk

Germany’s HeidelbergCement AG said its earnings would be hurt if the U.S. government decides to release strategic oil and gas reserves to punish Russia over the crisis in Crimea.

U.S. DOE Weekly Petroleum Status Report for March 14 (Text)

Following is the text of the weekly Petroleum Status Report from the U.S. Department of Energy:

LME Says Trafigura’s Impala Delists Two Warehouses in Malaysia

Impala (Far East) PTe Ltd. delisted two warehouses in Port Klang, Malaysia, the London Metal Exchange said in a notice e-mailed to members today.


Iran Holds Oil Exports at Lowest in More Than Decade, JODI Says

Iran exported crude in December and again in January at the lowest monthly level in more than a decade, according to data the country submitted to the Joint Organisations Data Initiative.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Shell Scotford Complex Reports Unit Startup: Hotline Message

Co. sees no material impact to production at Scotford complex in Alberta, Canada, associated with startup: hotline message left at 230pm local time today.

Marathon Galveston Bay Restarts FCC After Electrical Issue

FCC tripped offline yesterday, according to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Phillips 66 Borger Refinery Investigates Accident, 3 Injured

Phillips 66 investigates incident at Borger Refinery in Texas yesterday at 5pm CT: spokesman Dennis Nuss

MORE: Phillips 66 Bayway Said to Have Desulfurization Unit Fire

238k b/d refinery in N.J. running desulfurization unit after extinguishing exchanger fire, person familiar with operations at plant tells Bloomberg’s Lynn Doan.

Gelsenkirchen Refinery in Germany Plans Maintenance in May

Scholven site of refining complex to begin partial shutdown for planned works in early May, Stefanie Hansen, Bochum, Germany-based BP spokeswoman, says in e-mailed response to questions.

Phillips 66 Bayway Said to Put Out Fire at Desulfurization Unit

238k b/d refinery in N.J. running desulfurization unit after extinguishing exchanger fire, person familiar with operations at plant tells Bloomberg’s Lynn Doan.

Flint Hills Pine Bend Plans Power Plant, Sulfur Removal Upgrades

Refinery in Minn. plans to spend $300m to build new power generation plant and upgrade sulfur recovery system to make ultra lows sulfur gasoline, fertilizer, according to co. statement.

CVR Wynnewood Reported Unit Start Up Yesterday

Co. reported emissions from fluid catalytic cracker regenerator yday and March 17 associated with a start up, according to filing with Okla. Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Phillips 66 Bayway Extinguishes Small Fire in Refinery

Refinery in New Jersey had no impact to operations from small fire early today, co. spokesman Dennis Nuss says by phone.

BP Sells Jet Fuel Barges; Rhine Water Level Drops: Oil Products

BP sells jet fuel barges for 2nd day, diesel premium widens.


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 8.91 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.

Saudi Arabia to Japan Tanker Rates 41.76 Points

The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world’s busiest route for supertankers, declined 0.6 percent to 41.76 Worldscale points, according to the Baltic Exchange in London.


GE Joins Boeing in Tracking Fallout From Russian Sanctions (1)

Companies with investments in Russia -- such as General Electric Co. and Boeing Co. -- are growing concerned as the U.S. prepares to impose tougher sanctions over the crisis in Crimea that may spur retribution against corporate interests.

Christie Puts Blame on New Jersey Lawmakers for Tesla Sales Ban

Governor Chris Christie said New Jersey lawmakers were to blame for a law that bars Tesla Motors Inc. from selling its electric cars directly to consumers.

WTI Oil Rises Above $100 on U.S. Pipe; Brent Slides on Crimea

West Texas Intermediate rose above $100 a barrel for the first time in more than a week, buoyed by plans to expand a pipeline exiting the U.S. oil hub. The crude’s discount to Brent narrowed as easing concern over a Russian supply loss eroded the European benchmark.

Default Siren Sounds on James River Coupon Miss: Distressed Debt

James River Coal Co.’s decision to skip a $208,000 interest payment this week is showing just how hard the coal-mining industry is being hit by America’s natural- gas boom and an economic slowdown in China.

West Condemns Putin’s Defiance as Sanctions Set to Expand (2)

Western leaders condemned Russian President Vladimir Putin’s push to annex Crimea and promised further sanctions as early as this week, ratcheting up pressure in the biggest diplomatic crisis since the Cold War.

Ukraine to Remove Military in Crimea as Russia Tightens Grip (1)

Ukraine said it would pull its military out of Crimea and fortify its eastern border with Russia as European leaders struggled to come up with a unified response to punish Vladimir Putin for annexing the breakaway Black Sea region.

Rosneft Chief Says Sanctions Won’t Delay Morgan Stanley Deal (1)

U.S. and European Union sanctions against Russia won’t stop OAO Rosneft from buying Morgan Stanley’s oil sales unit, Chief Executive Officer Igor Sechin said, underscoring the limitations of the punitive measures.

Keystone Pitchman Oliver Becomes New Canada Finance Minister (1)

Joe Oliver, the former investment banker who has been Canada’s main spokesman on the Keystone XL pipeline, is replacing Jim Flaherty as finance minister, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said today.

Obama Aides’ Anti-Keystone Views Clash With Senate Loss Risk (1)

President Barack Obama’s advisers are lining up against the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline. Top Democratic donors oppose the project. And Obama himself dismisses claims that it will create many jobs.

NTSB Finds Gas Pipe Leak Near Fatal New York Building Blast (1)

Federal investigators found a leak on a natural gas pipeline next to one of the two buildings in New York City destroyed in an explosion that killed eight people last week.


Dollar Holds Advance on Fed Rates Outlook; Copper Futures Fall

The dollar maintained gains versus major currencies as U.S. Treasuries and stocks retreated after the Federal Reserve signaled interest rates may be raised from the middle of next year. Japanese index futures climbed amid a weaker yen while contracts on copper dropped.

Dollar Climbs Versus Major Peers on Prospects for Higher Rates

The dollar gained versus all its major counterparts after Federal Reserve policy makers indicated they’ll probably raise interest rates by the middle of next year with the U.S. economy showing signs of strengthening.

China’s Yuan Push Gives Hope to Asia’s Robot Traders: Currencies

China’s effort to loosen its grip on the yuan is just the boost Asia needs to catch up with the rest of the world in shifting dealing onto electronic platforms.

U.S. Stocks Retreat as Fed’s Yellen Outlines Exit From Stimulus

U.S. stocks fell for the first time in three days as Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the central bank’s stimulus program could end this fall and benchmark interest rates could rise six months later.

Speed Trader Sees Sisyphean Task in High-Frequency Crackdown (1)

Mark Gorton knows what will happen on the day high-frequency traders’ computers get kicked out of the New York Stock Exchange.

Smuggled Gold in Flower Pots Defy India Import Curb: Commodities

Returning home to the southern Indian state of Kerala from Dubai last month, 27-year-old welder Mohammed Ahmed Jaffer was arrested after customs agents said they discovered gold in the lining of his brass flower pot.

Gold Drops Most in Three Months as Fed Officials See Rate Rise

Gold fell the most in three months after the Federal Reserve further reduced U.S. monetary stimulus and more officials predicted a rise in interest rates in 2015, curbing demand for the metal as a store of value.

First Aboriginal Woman in Australia Senate Draws on Olympic Win

It’s Christmas Eve, and a three- year-old girl lies in her grandmother’s arms. It’s not a silent night -- Nova Peris is listening to the howl of a tropical cyclone ripping apart her home.

Putin’s Tools of Sabotage Beat Urgency of Ukraine Intervention

After annexing Crimea, Russian President Vladimir Putin may not need to invade the rest of Ukraine to bring it to its knees. Political and financial sabotage can work just as well.


Sao Paulo Warned to Take Steps to Avoid World Cup Water Shortage

The World Water Council is warning Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, to take emergency measures to conserve water as the region reels from a record drought or risk supply shortages during the World Cup.

Tiger Woods to Skip Bay Hill Tournament Due to Back Spasms

Tiger Woods won’t play in this week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational due to back spasms that have plagued him for the past month.

Pele Scores World Cup Jackpot Pitching Hublot Watches to Subway

On the second floor of a plush Rio de Janeiro mall, Pele flashed the smile that first captivated global audiences 50 years ago and cut a ribbon to open Swiss watchmaker Hublot SA’s first store in Latin America.


                         Last    Chg  %Chg   Exch Contract
                         ----   ----  ----   ---- --------
WTI Crude ($/Bbl)      100.42  +0.05  +0.0  Nymex    April
Brent Crude ($/Bbl)    105.85  -0.94  -0.9    Ice      May
Gasoil ($/Ton)         887.00  -4.50  -0.5    Ice    April
Gasoline (c/Gal)       286.54  -0.34  -0.1  Nymex    April
Natural gas ($/MMBtu)    4.46  -0.02  -0.4  Nymex    April
Dated Brent ($/Bbl)    105.77  -0.69  -0.7    OTC  21 Days
Heating Oil            290.11  +0.01    --  Nymex    April
Other markets:

                         Last  %Chg
                        ----- -----
Dollar Index            80.00  +0.7
Gold ($/Oz)          1,341.30  -1.3
MSCI World Index     1,658.05  -0.4
Prices as of 11 p.m. GMT

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Pratish Narayanan in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Pratish Narayanan at

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