Oil Product

Jun 24 - Britain votes to leave EU in historic divorce  

Britain has voted to leave the European Union, results from Thursday's landmark referendum showed, an outcome that sets the country on an uncertain path and deals the largest setback to European efforts to forge greater unity since World War Two. World financial markets dived as nearly complete results showed a 51.7/48.3 percent split for leaving. Sterling suffered its biggest one-day fall of more than 9percent against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in three decades on market fears the decision will hit investment in the world's 5th largest economy.  click here.

Jun 24 - Canada wildfires, U.S. demand pull Asian gasoline to the Americas  

As much as 60,000 tonnes of Asian gasoline is heading to South and Central America as higher prices and a supply shortfall in the region opened the rare east-to-Americas trade route, trade and industry sources said on Thursday. More movements could be expected as Asia continues to struggle with high stockpiles although these eastbound trades would likely be ad-hoc rather than regular, they added. click here.

Jun 24 - Indian companies consider Rosneft stakes, pipeline - minister  

Indian companies are evaluating buying stakes in Russian state oil firm Rosneft, India's oil minister said on Thursday, as Moscow seeks funds to address its state deficit. Russia has been hurt by Western sanctions over its actions in Ukraine, which effectively froze its companies's access to Western capital market, and a plunge in global oil prices. click here.

Jun 24 - Venezuela sees oil price up $10 per barrel, output rising within 6 months  

Oil prices will likely rise by $10 per barrel this summer, Venezuela's oil minister said on Thursday, adding that the South American OPEC nation's output could increase as much as 200,000 barrels per day in the next six months. Eulogio Del Pino told a local radio station in an interview that increased demand and lower supply would help boost oil prices in the coming months, which began falling dramatically two years ago as a result of a global supply glut. click here.

Jun 24 - California oil pipeline spill stopped before reaching beach  

An oil spill of 700 barrels of crude spilled from a pipeline near California's coast on Thursday but was quickly contained in a dry creek bed and did not reach the Pacific Ocean in Ventura County, officials said. The Ventura County Fire Department had initially estimated the size of the leak from the Crimson Pipeline at 5,000 barrels, but later said a much smaller amount was released in a stain stretching a half-mile.  click here.


Jun 24 - Stocks of U.S. biofuels credits seen plunging, lifting prices -analyst  

Prices in a niche market for biofuels compliance credits could jump in 2017 as supplies dwindle, ClearView Energy Partners LLC analysts said on Thursday, likely to fuel oil refiners' opposition to the hotly-debated U.S. renewable fuels program. Carryover inventories of the paper credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) are likely to be bigger this year than previously expected as manufacturers pump out record levels of ethanol, but are likely to drop sharply in 2017 due to proposed higher requirements for biofuels use.  click here.

Jun 23 - Oil producers keep output freeze revival on standby if prices weaken  

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has a contrarian message for those who question the wisdom of freezing global levels of oil output. Despite the collapse of talks on restraining production among OPEC and non-OPEC members earlier this year, he thinks the discussions were a success that might soon be repeated. click here .  

Jun 23 - Australia in sweet spot to meet Asia demand for ultra-light oil  

Australia is in pole position to capture a bigger piece of the growing Asian condensate market, with producers pumping new supplies of the ultra-light oil as natural gas output soars to feed the nation's mega LNG projects. An Australian wave of liquefied natural gas supply has helped pull Asian LNG prices down by 75 percent since 2014, so selling more lucrative condensate to Asian buyers could give a lifeline to less profitable projects.   click here .  

Jun 23 - Oil price fall tips OPEC current account into deficit in 2015, first since 1998  

OPEC's 2015 oil export revenues slumped 46 percent to a 10-year low, the group said in a report published on Wednesday, underlining the impact on producers' income from a collapse in prices. Oil prices at about $50 a barrel are half their level in mid-2014, pressured by oversupply. OPEC's decision in November 2014 to not cut supply, hoping a drop in prices would curb supply from competitors, deepened the decline.  click here.

Jun 23 - Iran condensate exports set to fall to 5-month low in July - sources  

Iran's condensate exports in July are expected to fall to the lowest in five months as major buyer South Korea scales back purchases of the ultra-light oil, trade sources said on Thursday. Robust demand for condensate, from South Korea in particular, helped drive a recovery of Iranian oil exports to a 4-1/2-year high in June, although the volume is expected to dip in July.  click here .  

Jun 23 - Saudi may return to market balancing role post recovery - energy minister  

Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, may return to its role of balancing oil supply and demand after the recovery of the global market, the country's energy minister indicated in comments published on Wednesday. "Despite the surplus in global oil production and lower prices, the focus of attention remains on countries such as Saudi Arabia which, due to its strategic importance, will be expected to balance supply and demand once market conditions recover," Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted as saying by state oil company Saudi Aramco. click here .  

Jun 23 - Philadelphia Energy shopping East Coast's largest refinery - sources  

Philadelphia Energy Solutions, the Carlyle Group-backed company that breathed new life into a "zombie" refinery complex on the East Coast is now trying to shed the investment in the face of market headwinds, according to people familiar with the efforts. PES has circulated detailed financial statements within the past two weeks to several potential buyers, including other refiners and at least one company that would be a new entrant to the business, according to two people familiar with the process.  click here .  

 Jun 23 - Oil traders expect WTI spread blowout amid robust supply  

Financial players in the oil market were buzzing on Wednesday over unusually large volumes in complex crude options this week, on a bet the market will tumble early next year on additional crude supplies and robust inventory levels. On Tuesday, 10,500 lots of bearish calendar-spread put options for the first six months of 2017, totaling 63 million barrels of crude, traded in the over-the-counter market, according to the CME Group's daily bulletin on Wednesday. click here .

Jun 22 - Blackout risk raises concerns for Southern California refiners  

Refiners in southern California are bracing for potential disruptions ahead of possible blackouts this summer after the closure of a key natural gas field prompted state regulators to warn of power and gas shortages. Those concerns have intensified this week as a heat wave swept the region, testing power grids that rely heavily on natural gas for fuel. Power generators face strained gas supplies after operations stopped at SoCalGas' Aliso Canyon facility, the second largest natural gas field in the Western United States. click here.

Jun 22 - Russia beats Saudis for third straight month as China's top crude supplier  

Russia beat out Saudi Arabia as China's largest oil supplier in May, customs data showed on Tuesday, marking the third month in a row the world's biggest oil producer has topped the world's biggest oil exporter in feeding China's market. Russia's exports to the world's No. 2 oil consumer hit a fresh record and reflect continuing strong demand from China's independent refiners. click here. 

Jun 22 - Rosneft's Sechin says Saudi Arabia, U.S. and Russia call shots on oil markets  

Igor Sechin, the head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia, the United States and Russia were the three main players on global oil markets, dismissing again OPEC's role as a regulator. He told Rossiya-24 TV that Russia's role in hydrocarbon markets will strengthen. click here.   

Jun 22 - Nigeria maintains oil exports despite wave of militant attacks  

Nigeria kept exporting crude oil at a largely steady pace in May, though below historical levels, despite repeated militant attacks on its infrastructure that drove output down to 30-year lows this spring and helped global prices rise, data showed. Data from maritime intelligence firm Windward and Thomson Reuters showed a far smaller drop in exports from April to May than most in the market had expected. It suggested that Nigerian oil production is more resilient than many thought.  click here.

Jun 22 - Global oil demand shows no sign of peaking: Kemp  

“Peak oil demand” has become a fashionable concept among climate campaigners but the evidence suggests oil consumption is growing at the fastest rate for a decade and shows no sign of letting up. Global oil consumption increased by nearly 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2015, the largest annual increase since 2004, apart from the post-crisis bounce recorded in 2010. click here.

Jun 22 - Suncor targets acquisitions in North Sea, Eastern Canada -sources  

Suncor Energy Inc plans to make acquisitions in the North Sea and Eastern Canada to bolster its offshore upstream oil business as assets become available due to the slump in global oil prices, three sources familiar with the process said. The size of deals could range from several hundred million dollars to a few billion dollars, the sources said, adding that Canada's biggest energy producer does plan a single transformational acquisition. 

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Jun 21 - Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fall in April despite high output  

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in April fell despite high production levels, while more crude was used domestically for power generation and to feed rising demand from local refineries. Crude exports in April fell to 7.444 million barrels per day from 7.541 million bpd in March, official data showed on Monday. click here.

Jun 21 - Private equity warms up to oil deals with $1 trillion warchest - EY  

The world's private equity funds, with a cash pile of around $1 trillion, are stepping up their interest in the oil and gas industry, with almost a half expecting to buy assets in the sector over the next year, a survey showed on Tuesday. Funds' appetite for investments in the sector fell sharply after the start of the oil price route two years ago. But recent signs of a rebound, coupled with abundant assets around the world, are turning the tide, advisory firm EY said in a survey of 100 private equity (PE) firms. click here.

   Jun 21 - Shell puts revamped shale arm at heart of future growth  

Having turned round its North American shale business, Royal Dutch Shell is putting so-called unconventional energy at the heart of its long-term growth plans, and believes lessons from the revamp can be applied across the company. Greg Guidry, head of the Anglo-Dutch group's unconventionals business, told Reuters a drive to slash costs and streamline decision-making had put his division largely on a par with leading rivals in terms of productivity and efficiency. click here.

Jun 21 - Oil prices under pressure as hedge funds adjust positions: Kemp  

Hedge funds cut their net long position in the main crude futures and options contracts by 63 million barrels, 10 percent, in the week to June 14, as the rally in oil prices showed signs of running out of steam. The one-week reduction in the net long position was the largest since July 2014, according to an analysis of data published by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Intercontinental Exchange. click here . 


Jun 20 - With oil price near $50, resilient U.S. shale producers eye new chapter  

Two years into the worst oil price rout in a generation, large and mid-sized U.S. independent producers are surviving and eyeing growth again as oil nears $50 a barrel, confounding OPEC and Saudi Arabia with their resiliency. That shale giants Hess Corp, Apache Corp and more than 25 other companies have beaten back OPEC's attempt to sideline them would have been unthinkable just months ago, when oil plumbed $26 a barrel and collapses were feared. click here.

Jun 20 - Lukoil to consider spinning off Europe downstream assets, focus on drilling  

Russia's Lukoil may consider spinning off or selling its downstream assets in Europe to focus on exploration both in Russia and abroad, Chief Executive Vagit Alekperov told Reuters in an interview. Lukoil, which is pumping around 2 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) - a little less than OPEC member Venezuela does - is refocusing on upstream both at home and abroad, Alekperov said. click here.

Jun 20 - Indonesia may add Brent, WTI in crude benchmark from July - official  

Indonesia is considering adding global oil benchmarks Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) to its crude pricing to reduce volatility, an energy ministry official said on Friday, possibly the first adjustment to its crude price reference since 2007. The Indonesia Crude Price (ICP) benchmark is set every month using an average of the assessments from pricing agencies Platts and RIM. The change could be implemented as soon as July.  click here.

Jun 20 - Libyan unity govt condemns attack near eastern oil terminals  

Libya's U.N.-backed unity government condemned an attack by a newly-formed militia group on eastern military forces close to key oil facilities, as clashes resumed on Sunday for a second day. Fighting erupted south of the coastal town of Ajdabiya on Saturday between military units loyal to Libya's eastern government and a group calling itself the Benghazi Defence Forces. At least three people were killed and 10 wounded, military spokesman Akram Bu Haliqa said.  click here.

Jun 20 - French workers suspend strike at Fos-Lavera oil port - union official  

French CGT union workers have suspended a four-week strike at the Fos-Lavera oil terminal in southern France, a union official told Reuters on Sunday. Hardline CGT members at France's biggest oil port terminal joined nationwide rolling protests against government labour reforms on May 23, disrupting the loading and unloading of vessels including oil, LNG and chemical tankers. click here.

Jun 17 - Global oil majors look to shed refineries as crude prices rebound 

Global oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc are putting small refineries on the auction block as they look to trim lower-margin assets in the face of headwinds from rising crude oil prices. Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, is soliciting interest in its Burnaby, British Columbia, refinery and gasoline stations, the company told Reuters. Shell is looking for buyers for its Martinez, California, refinery, two people familiar with the situation told Reuters. Shell declined to comment. click here.

Jun 17 - India monsoon to wash away diesel demand surge  

India's monsoon is expected to dump above-average rainfall on the South Asian nation after two years of drought, cutting its use of diesel for irrigation pumps and generators over the third quarter and potentially rejuvenating exports of the oil product. India is a net exporter of diesel - which accounts for about 40 percent of its oil demand - but a jump in imports by state refiners since April helped erode an Asian surplus of the fuel, lifting its regional profit margins to the highest for the year so far at the end of May. click here.   

 Jun 17 - Kremlin investor show attracts top oil players, but few deals  

Global oil company chiefs showed up in force to Russia's main investor show on Thursday, but deals were slow to materialise as they blamed low crude prices for cutting their scope to invest. Bosses of firms such as BP and Exxon Mobil also got plenty of lecturing from their hosts about uncertainties surrounding the U.S. presidential election and an economic overhaul in Saudi Arabia, while CEOs carefully avoided mentioning sanctions still in place on Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine. click here .  

Jun 17 - Gasoline appeal fades as refiners chase the next profit boost   

Just as drivers hit the road for summer holidays, refiners are turning the taps down on gasoline as a global excess cuts into their profits. Refiners in Europe, Asia and the United States, from the mighty ExxonMobil down to smaller players such as Italy's Saras, amped up the proportion of gasoline they churned out to cash in on record driver demand. click here.

  Jun 17 - Venezuela still hopes for OPEC, non-OPEC deal as Iran oil output rises  

Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio del Pino said on Thursday fellow OPEC member Iran would reach pre-sanction oil output levels by September, allowing a revival of talks on a global oil production freeze. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of Russia's main economic forum in St. Petersburg, Del Pino said the freeze idea could be discussed at an informal meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Algeria in September. click here.

Jun 16 - Kurds ready for new oil deal with Baghdad if they get $1 bln a month  

Iraq's Kurds said they are ready to strike an agreement with the central government in Baghdad on a deal to increase oil exports if it guarantees them monthly revenue of $1 billion, more than double what they make currently from selling oil.The Iraqi central government in March stopped oil exports through a Kurdish pipeline to pressure the local authorities to resume talks about an oil revenue-sharing agreement. click here .

Jun 16 - At $50/barrel, oil risks "reverse Goldilocks" syndrome  

Oil's battle to reclaim $50 a barrel may have left it in a sticky situation, where the price is too low to lure fresh investor bulls and too high to force more production offline.Global oil production has fallen by nearly 1 million barrels per day in the last year to just over 95 million bpd, based on International Energy Agency figures. Demand is expected to reach 96.7 million bpd this quarter, up more than 1 million bpd in that time. click here .

Jun 16 - U.S. crude oil stockpiles fall less than expected - EIA  

U.S. crude stocks fell last week, the government said on Wednesday, but the decline was much smaller than anticipated, while gasoline stocks decreased sharply.Crude inventories fell by 933,000 barrels in the last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported, less than half the 2.3 million barrel decrease expected by analysts.  click here .


Jun 15 - IEA sees oil market balance in 2016, surplus to re-emerge next year  

The oil market is now in balance thanks to unplanned outages and robust demand, particularly from emerging economies, but this equilibrium will tilt into surplus again early next year, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. The agency said in its monthly report that demand growth in 2017 is likely to reach 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd), the same level at which it estimates growth for this year, having revised up its May 2016 forecast of 1.2 million bpd.  click here.

Jun 15 - Russia's Sechin predicts dogfight for oil markets - Il Sole 24  

Igor Sechin, head of Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft and the country's most influential energy executive, said in an interview that he expects the fight for global energy market share to intensify. In the interview with Il Sole 24 published on Wednesday, Sechin questioned the rationale of Russia's plans to sell almost 20 percent of Rosneft as part of a wider privatisation scheme, saying the company's share price did not match its fundamentals.  click here.

Jun 15 - Venezuela's oil production tumbles as economic crisis worsens  

Hungry Venezuelans are rioting and looting amid worsening food shortages, but the OPEC country's remote oil fields have been sheltered from the social unrest so far. But Venezuela's blistering economic crisis is hitting them full on.  click here .

Jun 15 - Iran oil exports on track for 4-1/2-yr high as European buying recovers - source  

Iran's oil exports are on track to hit the highest in almost 4 1/2 years in June, as shipments to Europe recover to near pre-sanctions level, according to a source with knowledge of the country's crude lifting plans. Tehran's oil sales have nearly doubled since December, the last month before sanctions targeting its disputed nuclear programme were lifted, and the increase in sales should help offset some of the current global supply outages.  click here. 

Jun 15 - Kurds ready for new oil deal with Baghdad if they get $1 bln a month  

Iraq's Kurds are ready to strike an agreement with the central government in Baghdad on a deal to increase oil exports, if it guarantees them a monthly revenue of $1 billion, a spokesman for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) said. Iraq's central government in March stopped oil exports through a Kurdish pipeline to pressure the local authorities to resume talks about an oil revenue sharing agreement.  click here.


Jun 14 - OPEC points to oil demand exceeding its production for first time in 3 years  

OPEC forecast on Monday that the world oil market will be more balanced in the second half of 2016 as outages in Nigeria and Canada help to speed up the erosion of a supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said its current production is lower than the average forecast demand for its crude in the second half of 2016. The last full quarter when OPEC pumped less than demand for its crude was in 2013, according to past OPEC reports.click here.

Jun 14 - LatAm oil companies need over $55 per bbl to break even - Moody's  

Latin American national oil companies need crude prices to surpass $55 per barrel to break even, a level that would allow them to invest capital enough to start reverting declining output, according to credit rating firm Moody's Corp. Moody's expects credit quality to remain weak for these oil companies through at least mid-2017, with persistent risks that include falling production, short-term debt maturities, asset sales and cost cuts, according to a report released on Monday. click here .

Jun 14 - U.S. shale oil output to dip for 7th consecutive month - EIA  

U.S. shale oil output is expected to fall in July for the seventh consecutive month, according to a U.S. government forecast on Monday, despite a recent rally in crude prices to an 11-month high over $51 a barrel. Total output is expected to fall 118,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 4.723 million bpd in July, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) drilling productivity report. click here .

Jun 14 - Nigerian militants insist on foreign mediators for talks with government  

The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has carried out attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria's southern oil region, said on Monday it would only negotiate with the government if independent foreign mediators were involved. Last week the group, which wants a greater share of Nigeria's oil wealth to go to the impoverished Niger Delta region, rejected an offer from the government to hold talks. click here.

Jun 14 - Former Delta fuel executive, wife banned by CME  

CME Group on Monday banned a former Delta Air Lines fuel trading executive for using his wife's accounts to "front-run" the airline's hedging positions - trades that netted him a profit of more than $3 million. Jon Ruggles was banned by the financial exchange operator, along with his wife, Ivonne for the front running, a practice in which an order is executed for personal gain using advance knowledge of pending orders from a company or clients. The two could not immediately be reached for comment. click here.

Jun 13 - Noble Group hires Morgan Stanley, HSBC to advise on U.S. energy unit sale  

Singapore-based commodities trader Noble Group said on Monday it has hired Morgan Stanley and HSBC as advisors on the planned sale of its Noble Americas Energy Solutions (NAES) unit, targeting completion of the deal in the second half of the year.The company began the sale process for San Diego-based electricity supplier NAES on May 30 when it had also announced that its Chief Executive Officer Yusuf Alireza quit. In August 2015, Noble indicated the value of the business at more than $1.25 billion click here  

Jun 13 - Hedge funds cut net longs on U.S. crude as $50 oil raises worry  

Hedge funds and other big speculators cut their net-long, or bullish, position in U.S. crude this week for the first time in a month, trade data showed on Friday, indicating concern the oil market may not be sustained at $50 a barrel.Managed money's combined net longs in U.S. crude futures and options in both New York and London fell by 11,478 contracts to 244,055 contracts during the week to June 7, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. click here . 

Jun 09 - Argentina's energy needs draw fuel tankers from around the globe 

A flotilla of 21 fuel tankers from Europe, the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States is steaming toward Argentina as it ramps up imports of gasoil and liquefied natural gas to record levels this year, according to its new government and Thomson Reuters data. Still a long way from regaining the energy self-sufficiency lost in 2010, the South American country has bought 49 cargoes of LNG so far this year and will buy 90 in all, a spokesman for the Energy Ministry told Reuters this week. click here.

Jun 09 - Nigerian chaos leaves refiners cold and oil unsold amid outages 

Refineries from India to the United States are backing away from buying Nigerian oil amid heightened uncertainty about deliveries as the country squares up to militants in the restive Delta region. Their reluctance to buy is limiting the prices Nigeria can get for its oil even as there is less of it – another hit to the finances of a country battling its worst economic crisis in decades.click here.


Jun 09 - Shell resumes Iranian oil purchases 

Royal Dutch Shell has resumed purchases of Iranian crude, becoming the second major oil firm after Total to restart trade with Tehran after the lifting of sanctions, trading sources said and ship tracking data showed. Iran has been trying to claw back its market share since international sanctions were lifted in January and regaining a major buyer such as Shell will further aid its cause. click here.


Jun 09 - World oil reserves stable despite drop in investment - BP 

The world's oil reserves were unchanged in 2015 despite a sharp drop in investment and exploration after the collapse in crude prices, BP said in its benchmark industry report. Proven oil and gas reserves that can be technically pumped out of the ground typically fluctuate with oil prices as production becomes more or less economically viable. click here .

Jun 08 - Oil bull Hall's Astenbeck fund up 5 pct in May, 3rd month of gains
Oil bull Andy Hall's Astenbeck Capital Management rose 5 percent in May for a third straight month of gains as his bets on tightening oil supplies paid off to give the hedge fund its best stretch of returns in two years, an investor letter showed. Southport, Connecticut-based Astenbeck, which has approximately $2.4 billion under management, is up about 24 percent for 2016, according to the letter issued last week and seen by Reuters on Tuesday. click here.

Jun 08 - Oil market is back in balance: Kemp
Global oil markets seem to have moved back into balance thanks to strong growth in fuel consumption and a series of large supply disruptions in major crude producing nations. Motorists’ soaring consumption of cheap gasoline in the United States as well as in some large emerging economies, including India and Mexico, will help boost global oil demand by more than 1.4 million barrels per day in 2016.click here.

 Jun 08 - Shell CEO eyes top spot with post-BG deal refocus
Royal Dutch Shell plans to increase cost savings to $4.5 billion following its $54 billion acquisition of BG Group which Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said will make it the best oil company investment, ahead of Exxon Mobil. In its first long-term strategy presentation since February's deal, Shell unveiled plans to limit spending and exit countries in order to focus on the most profitable operations such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), deepwater oil production and chemicals. click here.

 Jun 08 - Nigeria to scale down army campaign in Delta, talk to Avengers - officials
Nigeria will scale down a military campaign in the oil-producing Niger Delta and talk to the Niger Delta Avengers militant group which has claimed a string of attacks there that sharply cut crude output, officials said. But the militant group said in a statement, without mentioning the government initiative, its mandate was "to liberate the Niger Delta people."click here.

Jun 07 - China's oil stockpiling to boost tanker market – owners
Moves by China to stockpile oil are providing a further boost to the tanker shipping market which is already buoyant due to global bargain-hunting caused by lower crude prices, shipowners said on Monday. Rates for supertankers transporting 2-million-barrel cargoes of crude surged to record highs in late December of over $110,000 a day and have stayed close to $60,000 a day in recent weeks, helped by firm appetite for cargoes and a tight supply of ships available for hire. click here.

Jun 07 - U.S. gasoline margins plunge as traders worry about high imports
U.S. gasoline margins saw their largest daily decline in nearly four months on Monday on fears that resurgent fuel imports will flood a saturated market, even as Americans take to the road at a record pace during the critical summer driving season. The gasoline crack spread - a key indicator in refiner margins - fell by as much as 10.7 percent to $16.86 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange on Monday at the outset of the season when strong demand is widely expected to deliver profits to refiners.click here.

 Jun 07 - Saudi Aramco could import gas to boost use in energy mix - min
Saudi Aramco could invest in importing gas into the kingdom, but the priority would be on finding new sources of gas domestically through exploration, Saudi Arabia's energy minister said on Tuesday. Even though it is the world's largest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia has struggled to keep pace with domestic gas demand in recent years as increased use from industry and power generation put pressure on supplies. click here.

 Jun 07 - Militant attacks have cut Nigerian oil output by half a million bpd
Nigeria's oil production has fallen by at least half a million barrels per day (bpd), Reuters calculations show, because of militant attacks in the Niger Delta region, most claimed by a new group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers. The group has made multiple attacks on infrastructure belonging to oil majors Shell, ENI and Chevron, vowing to reduce output to zero in what is typically Africa's largest oil exporter. click here.

Jun 03 - OPEC fails to agree policy but Saudis pledge no shocks
OPEC failed to agree a clear oil-output strategy on Thursday as Iran insisted on steeply raising its own production, though Tehran's arch-rival Saudi Arabia promised not to flood the market and sought to mend fences within the organisation. Tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom and the Shi'ite Islamic Republic had blighted several previous OPEC meetings, including in December 2015 when the group fell short of agreeing a formal output target for the first time in years. click here.

 Jun 03 - Noble Group to raise funds, cut jobs; chairman plans to step down
Noble Group is raising $500 million in a rights issue and its chairman plans to step down within 12 months - the latest in unexpected measures this week as Asia's largest commodity trader struggles with the fallout from an accounting dispute and weak markets. The resignation plans by Chairman Richard Elman, who is also Noble's founder and largest shareholder with a fifth of the company, come just days after its chief executive quit and the firm said it would sell a North American energy business, its crown jewel. click here.

 Jun 03 - Diesel margins nearly double as El Nino spurs Asia oil demand
Diesel, one of the worst performing fuels in the refining complex for years, has seen its fortunes turn around as extreme hot weather has boosted demand, especially at power generators in South Asia. Asia has been struggling to absorb excess diesel as an economic slowdown across the region curbed consumption of the industrial fuel. click here.

 Jun 03 - Saudi Aramco keen to invest in global upstream after IPO - Energy Minister
Saudi Arabia's state oil giant Aramco is interested in investing in international upstream as it prepares for a partial privatisation through a stock market listing, the kingdom's energy minister said on Thursday. Saudi Aramco is working on the options for floating less than 5 percent of its value, which include a single domestic stock exchange listing and a dual listing with a foreign market. click here.

 Jun 03 - As diesel price soars, U.S. refiners seize the moment, sell future output
U.S. diesel futures have soared about 40 percent in the last two months, prompting independent refiners to pounce, selling future output on the view that resurgent domestic demand and higher exports may turn out to provide only a brief boost. The surprise rally in U.S. diesel futures has put prices on track for their biggest quarterly percentage gain in seven years. click here.

Jun 03 - Even for BP and Shell, North Sea remains a hard sell
When it comes to the North Sea, there is no such thing as an easy sale, even for oil giants Royal Dutch Shell and BP. More than any other region in the world, the North Sea has suffered greatly over the past two years as a 60 percent drop in oil prices, high operating costs, dwindling reserves and a tough tax regime has hit operators hard. click here.

Jun 02 - Saudi, Iran set to clash over OPEC oil output targets
OPEC is set for another showdown between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran when it meets on Thursday, with Riyadh trying to revive coordinated action and set a formal oil output target but Tehran rejecting the idea. Tensions between the Sunni-led kingdom and the Shia Islamic Republic have been the highlights of several previous OPEC meetings, including in December 2015 when the group failed to agree on a formal output target for the first time in years. click here.

 Jun 02 - With $50 crude, signs of life return to West Texas oilfields
As crude prices plummeted last summer, Steve Pruett, chief executive of a small west Texas oilfield developer, idled a drilling rig, opting to pay $21,000 a day to store it rather than dig more wells and risk bigger losses. Now as oil prices rise again, the third-generation oil man is offering his only rig crew bonuses to drill wells as fast as they can, but says his company, Elevation Resources, will wait until next year to deploy a second rig. click here.

 Jun 02 - Iran's NIOC defers at least one June fuel oil shipment to Asia
Iran has deferred at least one of its fuel oil loadings for June to Asia, according to a trade source with direct knowledge of the matter. In a bid to recapture lost market share and bolster revenue, state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) quickly ramped up exports of fuel oil once U.S. imposed economic sanctions were lifted in January. click here.

 Jun 02 - Saudi Aramco enters Baltic market with oil supply deal with Polish PKN
Saudi Aramco and Poland's biggest refiner PKN Orlen on Wednesday signed a contract agreed in May for Aramco to supply PKN with 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day starting this month, the companies said. The deal solidifies the slow erosion of Russian state oil giant Rosneft's dominance in northern Europe, its core market for sales of its medium sour grade Urals.  click here.

 Jun 02 - China may approve more crude import quotas for independent refiners - Dongming
China could approve more crude import quotas for independent refiners that will bring the total volume to close to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of 2016, an industry official said on Wednesday. "We expect annual crude import quotas to reach about 100 million tonnes (2 million bpd) by the end of this year," said Zhang Liucheng from China's largest independent refiner Dongming Petrochemical at an industry event. click here.

Jun 01 - New Saudi energy minister shows he takes OPEC seriously
For OPEC watchers, every little detail matters. When the oil producer group holds its half-yearly meetings, what time the ministers arrive in Vienna, how they speak and which hotel they stay in - anything will be analysed in an attempt to predict its policies. click here.

 Jun 01 - Asian traders unload floating gasoline as market flips
The number of tankers storing gasoline in waters off Singapore and Malaysia is dwindling as the fuel is sold off or shifted to cheaper onshore storage because of changes in forward delivery terms, traders familiar with the matter said. With the economics of storing the fuel on tankers no longer viable due to a stronger forward market, there are now fewer than three long-range (LR) vessels holding gasoline in the area. click here.

 Jun 01 - Global glut to temper oil price gains this year - Poll
Global oversupply in crude oil is likely to limit price gains this year despite a series of unplanned outages andshrinking U.S. shale production, a Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. Wildfires in Canada, political unrest in Venezuela and supply disruptions in Nigeria and Libya have wiped out nearly 4 million barrels of daily production. click here.

 Jun 01 - Saudi Arabia likely to hike Asia crude prices in July on strong Dubai
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is expected to raise the prices for most crude grades it sells to Asia in July to track a stronger Dubai benchmark, trade sources said on Tuesday. The July official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light is expected to climb 25 cents to 50 cents a barrel, up for a second month after rising to the highest since September 2014 in June, a survey of five refiners and traders showed. click here.

 Jun 01 - China issues draft rules for strategic oil reserves
China is planning changes to the way it handles oil reserves by allowing private companies to build and operate some of its strategic stockpiles, while also requiring companies to maintain compulsory inventories, potentially boosting its future imports. Beyond allowing private companies to build and operate some strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), draft rules issued by the National Energy Administration (NEA) on Tuesday will also oblige companies to keep compulsory oil reserves. click here.

 Jun 01 - OPEC oil output falls from near-record in May on Nigeria outages
OPEC's oil output fell in May from near a record high, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, as attacks on Nigeria's oil industry and other outages outweighed increases in Iran and Gulf members. A rise in supply from Saudi Arabia plus Iran suggests the group's top producers remain focused on market share, following the failure of an initiative in April between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to support prices by freezing output. click here.

 Jun 01 - Oil tankers in limbo as Venezuela's PDVSA fails to pay BP - sources
Four tankers carrying over 2 million barrels of U.S. crude are stuck at sea and cannot discharge at a Caribbean terminal because Venezuela's PDVSA has not yet paid supplier BP Plc, according to two sources and Thomson Reuters vessel tracking data. The cargoes are part of a tender Petroleos de Venezuela, known as PDVSA, awarded in March to BP and China Oil.  click here.

May 31 - Mothballed ships in SE Asia show pain inflicted by oil slump
Not everyone in shipping is bemoaning the industry's worst crisis in living memory: a cluster of companies that help preserve equipment and provide security for vessels parked around southeast Asia are busier than they have been for years.A popular lay-up anchorage near Indonesia's Batam island, a short hop from Singapore, is growing crowded, and firms such as Ocean Shipcare and Brubay Shipcare are running out of space at another at Brunei Bay, near Labuan, off northern Borneo. click here.

 May 31 - Iraq joins Mideast rivals raising oil exports ahead of OPEC meeting
Iraq will supply 5 million barrels of extra crude to its partners in June, industry sources familiar with the issue said, joining other Middle East producers by lifting market share ahead of an OPEC meeting this week.Iraq, which is the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, had already been targeting record crude export volumes from southern terminals next month of 3.47 million barrels per day. click here.

 May 31 - Dismay in oil Twitterverse upon popular U.S. crude trader's exit
Oil traders keep a low profile. So when one of the most widely followed oil traders on Twitter abruptly closed his account last week, the outpouring of dismay among his thousands of followers was rare for the secretive multi-trillion dollar industry. Eric Rosenfeldt, who goes by the Twitter handle of Oil Merchant or @energyrosen, had attracted more than 8,000 Twitter followers for his quirky and candid opinions on the crude oil market. click here.

 May 31 - China's CNPC says could consider raising Rosneft stake
China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) may consider increasing its stake in Russian state oil firm Rosneft during a planned privatisation programme, its chairman said on Monday.The Russian government has included a reduction in its stake in Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer by output, to 50 percent from 69.5 percent in its privatisation plan for 2016. China's CNPC already has a small stake in Rosneft. click here.

 May 31 - How Hayward's Genel lost its Kurdish oil reserves
On the last Sunday of February 2016, late in the evening, Genel Energy's Chairman and former BP boss Tony Hayward held an urgent call with the board to break some bad news: the firm's prized oil field was worth much less than they had thought.Hours later, the company released a statement to the London Stock Exchange announcing the halving of the reserves of the Taq Taq oil field in Iraqi Kurdistan, the value of which had already been hurt by the collapse in oil prices and the proximity of Islamic State fighters. click here.

 May 31 - China adds pipelines, depots at "teapot" oil hub to ease congestion
A group of Chinese companies plans to build new pipeline and storage facilities in eastern Shandong province, the hub for the country's independent refineries, providing much-needed infrastructure as crude oil imports into the region surge.Shandong, home to nearly 20 independent oil plants nicknamed "teapots" due to their relatively small processing capacity, posted a 65 percent increase in crude imports in the first four months of 2016 on a year ago, customs data showed. This equates to an extra 851,000 barrels per day. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

May 31 - Thailand to auction petroleum concessions held by Chevron, PTTEP
Thailand's military government plans to put up for auction petroleum concessions held by Chevron Corp and PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, Energy Minister Anantaporn Kanjanarat said on Monday.Chevron's Thai unit holds concessions to operate the Erawan gas field, while PTTEP operates the Bongkot gas field. The two have combined production of 2.2 billion cubic feet per day, or 76 percent of output in the Gulf of Thailand. click here.

May 30 - As crude hits $50 a barrel, options market suggests jitters
With the price of oil finally touching $50 a barrel this week, producers and speculators have been loading up on options to protect themselves from a downside risk, signaling there are still some jitters surrounding the recent rally.Deep out-of-the-money put options - options that would not be profitable until a substantial pullback in the price of oil - have shown a marked increase in implied volatility, a sign that producers are locking in prices close to levels for them to be profitable while speculators are protecting themselves from a potential correction. click here.

May 30 - Noble Group's CEO resigns in surprise move, to sell U.S. energy unit
Embattled commodity trader Noble Group announced the surprise resignation of CEO Yusuf Alireza on Monday and said it planned to sell a U.S. unit to bolster its balance sheet as it seeks to regain investor confidence.Alireza, a former Goldman Sachs banker had steered Asia's biggest commodity trader to sell assets, cut business lines and take big writedowns as it battled weak commodity markets and the fallout from an accounting dispute. click here.

May 30 - Hedge funds' bullish oil bets hit June highs as crude neared $50
Hedge funds and other money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil for a second week in a row to the highest in nearly a year as oil prices headed toward $50 a barrel, trade data showed on Friday.These speculators raised their combined net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in New York and London by 819 contracts to 254,508 during the week to May 24, the data reported by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. click here.

May 30 - Russian Energy Minister Novak says too early to write off OPEC
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak believes that it is too early to write off OPEC despite internal differences within the group, he said on the ministry's Twitter feed, days before the organisation meets to discuss its production policy.Russia, a global leading oil producer, and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have so far failed to reach an agreement to work together to support weak oil prices. click here.

May 27 - Saudi Aramco boosting market share as it prepares for listing - CEO
Saudi oil giant Aramco is gaining market share and pushing for greater efficiency, chief executive Amin Nasser said in an interview, as it acts as a "bridge" to a future when the nation relies less on energy exports. Nasser also told Reuters that the state-owned group was pressing on with preparations for its partial privatisation via a stock market listing, which he said lay at the heart of Riyadh's "Vision 2030", a long-term economic plan headed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. click here.

 May 27 - Saudi offers more oil to Asian clients ahead of OPEC meet
Saudi Arabia is offering extra crude to customers in Asia, a sign the world's largest oil exporter does not intend to cut output as it battles for market share with other top producers. Saudi's offers of more oil come after it recently completed maintenance programmes that had reduced supplies from some fields during the second quarter, traders said. click here.

 May 27 - Oil rally faces resistance above $50 a barrel
The strong rally in oil prices that sent Brent and U.S. crude above $50 a barrel for awhile on Thursday faces technical barriers in the next three to five weeks. Unexpected oil supply outages, along with technical buy signals, have helped lift Brent and U.S. crude prices nearly 90 percent above 12-year lows hit earlier this year. click here.

 May 27 - Once thriving Philadelphia-area rail terminal now a symbol of oil bust
Enbridge Energy Partners' crude rail terminal located just outside Philadelphia was hailed as a symbol of the region’s energy rebirth when it first opened in 2012. Mile-long trains filled with discounted domestic Bakken crude barreled out of North Dakota like clockwork into the 90,000 barrel-per-day facility before the crude was placed on a barge, bound for Delta Air Lines’  nearby refinery and converted into jet fuel, gasoline and other products. click here.

 May 27 - Trump vows to undo Obama's climate agenda in appeal to oil sector
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, promised on Thursday to roll back some of America's most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he said would revive the ailing U.S. oil and coal industries and bolster national security. Among the proposals, Trump said he would pull the United States out of the U.N. global climate accord, approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada and rescind measures by President Barack Obama to cut U.S. emissions and protect waterways from industrial pollution. click here.

 May 27 - Urals drops in price but strong in crude oil fight for Europe
An increasing flow of Middle East crude to Europe has forced Russia's Urals to fight for its place on the market. The Russian grade has dropped in price but managed to preserve its position in the region as one of the most popular. click here.

May 26 - Iran-Saudi row threatens any OPEC deal, puts role in question
OPEC's thorniest dilemma of the past year - at least from a purely oil standpoint - is about to disappear. Less than six months after the lifting of Western sanctions, Iran is close to regaining normal oil export volumes, adding extra barrels to the market in an unexpectedly smooth way and helped by supply disruptions from Canada to Nigeria. click here.

 May 26 - Crude oil inventories slump the most since April as imports fall
U.S. crude inventories slumped last week, the biggest weekly drop in seven weeks, as imports dropped and refiners cut output, while gasoline stocks soared ahead of the start of the U.S. driving season, the government said on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell 4.2 million barrels in the week to May 20, compared with analyst expectations for an decrease of 2.5 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration. click here.

 May 26 - Exxon shareholders pass measure that may put climate expert on board
Voters at Exxon Mobil Corp's annual meeting on Wednesday approved a measure to let minority shareholders nominate outsiders for seats on the board, meaning a climate activist could eventually become a director at the world's largest publicly traded oil company. The so-called proxy access measure was the first Exxon shareholder proposal since 2006 to be approved, and it was the only one of 11 proposals related to climate change to pass at meetings held on Wednesday by Exxon and fellow U.S. major Chevron Corp. click here.

May 25 - From hinterland to wonderland: China's "teapot" refinery boomtowns
For Zheng Ruifeng, the 25-year-old son of a wheat farmer from eastern China, acceptance at a technical school specialising in petrochemical engineering was a life-changing event. Zheng, who grew up expecting to spend a lifetime toiling on the family farm, instead works as a technician monitoring control panels for Chambroad Petrochemical, one of China's largest independent refineries. click here.

 May 25 - Refiner demand, outages boost Bakken crude to 3-year high
U.S. oil refiners rushing to secure light crude supply in the Midwest and East Coast have pushed North Dakota's Bakken crude to its strongest level in three years, thanks to major production cuts from Canada to Nigeria. With nearly 2 million barrels per day offline, a bidding war has emerged for light supply as refiners churn out more product ahead of the summer demand season, and as high prices for North Sea crude pushes East Coast refiners to look inland for oil. click here.

 May 25 - Pemex boosts crude exports to Asia because of refining changes
Mexican state oil giant Pemex has recently ramped up oil shipments to Asia, particularly of Isthmus light crude, because of changes in blends processed by domestic refineries, senior company executives said on Tuesday. Pemex's shipments to Japan, China, India and South Korea rose to 214,000 barrels per day in April from 193,000 bpd in March, official figures show. click here.

May 25 - Some crude production restarts as cool weather saps Canadian wildfire
Some crude producers restarted operations on Tuesday in Canada's energy heartland as a mass evacuation of the Fort McMurray oil town entered its fourth week, though cool weather and light winds were helping firefighters dampen the blaze. No oil facilities or communities were in the fire's path as of Tuesday morning as its footprint grew slightly to 523,000 hectares (2,008 square miles) from roughly 522,900 hectares on Monday, Alberta officials said at a news conference. click here.

May 24 - U.S. refiners see surprise surge in diesel demand
U.S. refiners are enjoying their strongest diesel margins in months as surprisingly robust overseas demand, combined with lower domestic production has triggered an unusually large drawdown in inventories for this time of year. The surge in appetite for U.S. diesel comes on the heels of a mild winter that sapped demand for heating oil and punished margins as products went straight into bulging storage tanks. U.S. independent refiner profits dropped 74 percent in the first quarter compared with last year. click here.

 May 24 - Debt repayments in crude cripple poorer oil producers
Poorer oil-producing countries which took out loans to be repaid in oil when the price was higher are having to send three times as much to respect repayment schedules now prices have fallen. This has crippled the finances of countries such as Angola, Venezuela, Nigeria and Iraq and created a further division within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. click here.

 May 24 - Oil discoveries sink to lowest since 1952 -Morgan Stanley
Oil discoveries in 2015 fell to their lowest since 1952 as energy companies slashed exploration budgets in the wake of the oil price fall, creating a gap for meeting future demand, analysts at Morgan Stanley said on Monday. The oil and gas industry discovered 2.8 billion barrels of oil outside the United States last year, the equivalent of one month of global consumption, the U.S. bank said, quoting data from consultancy Rystad Energy. click here.

 May 23 - Iraq's southern oil exports fall so far in May
Oil exports from southern Iraq so far in May have fallen by more than 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the previous month's near-record, adding to supply losses caused by unusually high global outages. The drop, if prolonged, could add to concern about the sustainability of export growth from Iraq, where oil firms have warned the government that projects to boost output will be delayed if Baghdad cuts spending this year. click here.

 May 23 - Firefighters protect Canada's oil sands battling 1,100 C flames
Fighting massive forest fires is dangerous and taxing enough, but those sent into Canada’s oil sands are not only wrestling with one of the worst wildfires in the country’s history. They are doing it surrounded by the volatile, explosive chemicals and compounds critical to pumping oil from some of the world’s largest reserves. click here.

May 20 - Crude tanker storage fleet off Singapore points to stubborn oil glut
Prices for oil futures have jumped by almost a quarter since April, lifted by severe supply disruptions caused by triggers such as Canadian wildfires, acts of sabotage in Nigeria, and civil war in Libya. Yet flying into Singapore, the oil trading hub for the world's biggest consumer region, Asia, reveals another picture: that a global glut that pulled down prices by over 70 percent between 2014 and early 2016 is nowhere near over, and that financial traders betting on higher crude oil futures may be in for a surprise from the physical market. click here.

 May 20 - Tanker begins delayed oil loading at Libya's Hariga -officials
A tanker that had been blocked for three weeks in a stand-off over oil exports at the eastern Libyan port of Marsa al-Hariga entered the port and began loading on Thursday, officials said. The Seachance, which had been waiting to load oil for Glencore on behalf of the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), was loading 600,000 barrels for shipment to Britain, port and oil officials said. click here.

 May 20 - Oil Search boosts LNG push in PNG with $2.2 bln InterOil bid
Australia's Oil Search Ltd agreed a $2.2 billion deal to acquire InterOil Corp on Friday, aiming to pave the way for two rival liquefied natural gas projects led by global majors to work together in Papua New Guinea. In the face of weak oil prices, PNG is considered one of the best locations for LNG projects, thanks to its high quality gas and low costs. click here.

 May 20 - Incident at Exxon terminal tests Nigeria's foundering oil output
Nigeria's oil production showed further signs of strain on Thursday as intruders blocked access to Exxon Mobil's terminal exporting Qua Iboe, the country's largest crude stream. Exxon Mobil said the terminal continued to operate even as the intruders blocked staff from gaining access from early morning hours. click here.

 May 20 - Canadian firefighters make progress against fire in oil sands region
Firefighters made progress against a wildfire in the Fort McMurray region of northern Alberta on Thursday as a shift in winds pushed it away from communities and oil sands facilities. The massive blaze has charred 505,000 hectares (1.2 million acres), up from 483,000 on Wednesday. click here.

May 19 - With big outages in oil supply, buyers tap plentiful storage
Oil traders from Houston to the North Sea are tapping into plentiful storage onshore and offshore, evincing little sign of concern yet about mammoth supply losses from Canada to Nigeria that has knocked out about 2 million barrels a day of output. Ample oil inventories near record highs on ships and land have left buyers in no hurry to lock down new crude supply. Many have even shunned offers of fresh cargo. click here.

 May 19 - U.S. crude inventories rise unexpectedly; product stocks slump - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week even as gasoline and distillate inventories fell more than expected, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 1.3 million barrels in the week to May 13, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.8 million barrels and a 1.1 million-barrel drawdown reported on Tuesday by a trade group, the American Petroleum Institute. click here.

 May 19 - U.S. EPA biofuels plan disappoints refiners, farmers alike
U.S. regulators on Wednesday proposed a modest increase in the amount of corn-based ethanol and biofuels that fuel producers must mix into diesel and gasoline in 2017, disappointing two major industries: Big Corn and Big Oil. Unveiling the latest stage in its controversial biofuels program, the Environmental Protection Agency called for 18.8 billion gallons to be blended into the nation's fuel supply in 2017, up 4 percent from the 18.11 billion gallons set for this year.click here.

 May 19 - Latest evacuations plunge oil sands restarts into uncertainty
The sudden surge north of the massive wildfire burning in Canada's oil sands region has dealt a new setback to producers, triggering a second round of evacuations and threatening work camps north of Fort McMurray. With the the city of Fort McMurray off limits and fewer places to house workers needed to restart operations, production may be shut down for longer than companies and market analysts had anticipated. click here.

 May 19 - In North Dakota's oil patch, a humbling comedown
Dave Van Assche didn't fret too much when oil prices started to slide in late 2014. The postal services business he had built over three short years was thriving, catering to the tens of thousands of people who, like him, had streamed into North Dakota to strike it rich during an unprecedented oil boom. click here.

 May 19 - Burnt by oil price crash, Europe's oil majors warm up to green energy investments
Europe's biggest oil companies, reeling from losing billions in the two-year oil market rout, are intensifying their push into renewable energy as they hunt for new sources of future revenue. Shell, Eni, Total  and Statoil have announced green energy investments with a combined value of around $2.5 billion in recent weeks in a bid to diversify away from their core oil and gas markets. click here.

May 18 - BP exploration boss leaves after spending cuts
The head of exploration at BP, Richard Herbert, is leaving the British oil major after slightly more than two years in the job, a period in which the company slashed spending on the search for new deposits. Herbert, a BP veteran and a long-time ally of chief executive Bob Dudley, rejoined BP in October 2013 after several years at rival Talisman Energy. His task was to lead exploration activity to help the firm rebuild investor confidence following a deadly U.S Gulf oil spill in 2010. click here.

 May 18 - China's surging crude oil imports for storage may ease: Russell
China appears to be stockpiling crude oil at a faster pace than the market had expected, taking advantage of low prices but perhaps also pulling forward its demand for imported crude. While China doesn't disclose the amount of crude flowing into strategic storage, an estimate can be made simply by subtracting refinery runs from the total amount of oil available from both imports and domestic output. click here.

 May 18 - Shell shareholders advised to oppose CEO's pay
Two investor advisory firms have recommended Royal Dutch Shell shareholders oppose the CEO's 2015 remuneration, in the latest sign of rising discontent over pay amid falling oil prices. Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden's 2015 remuneration fell 8 percent to 5.135 million euros ($5.63 million) last year, when the company's revenue dropped sharply due to low oil prices. click here.

 May 18 - As oil boom goes bust, Oklahoma protects drillers and squeezes schools
After intense lobbying, Oklahoma’s oilmen scored a victory two years ago. State lawmakers voted to keep in place some of the lowest taxes on oil and gas production in the United States - a break worth $470 million in fiscal year 2015 alone. The state’s schools haven’t been so fortunate. In Newcastle, 23 miles from the capital of Oklahoma City, John Cerny recently learned that the school attended by his five-year-old granddaughter, Adelynn, will open just four days a week next year. click here.

May 18 - Canada wildfire rages near oil sand facilities, extending shutdowns
A massive wildfire raged near Fort McMurray, Alberta on Tuesday and threatened major oil sands production facilities, forcing the evacuation of thousands of workers and prolonging a shutdown that cut Canadian oil output by 1 million barrels a day. The fire jumped a critical firebreak late Monday where plants and trees had been removed to stop its spread, moving north of Fort McMurray into oil sand camp areas.  click here.

May 17 - Oil rally suggests supply worries wane, but for how long?  
A rally in U.S. crude oil prices recently has put the market on its firmest footing since the rout started in 2014, with the spread between prices for near-term delivery and future delivery narrowing, suggesting the worst of the supply glut may be over. Oil prices in global markets have been lifted in the past week by news of falling U.S. production and output disruptions in Canada and Nigeria. click here.

 May 17 - Top U.S. investors divided on energy shares in first quarter
Top U.S. investors' plays on energy stocks diverged in the first quarter, with some cutting stakes and others increasing, as oil prices seesawed and roiled shares in the sector. Hedge funds such as David Tepper's Appaloosa Management and Daniel Loeb's Third Point showed bullish moves toward the sector, while Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway also appeared sanguine on the sector by maintaining a big stake in U.S. pipeline operator Kinder Morgan, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings showed Friday and Monday. click here.

 May 17 - India's mobility revolution is driving global oil demand: Kemp
"India is taking over from China as the main growth market for oil," the International Energy Agency observed in its latest petroleum market update ("Oil Market Report", IEA, May 2016). India's oil consumption has grown at an average annual rate of 5 percent over the last decade and climbed over 4 million barrels per day for the first time in the year ending in March 2016. click here.

 May 17 - Oil price ultra-bear Goldman Sachs turns mildly bullish
U.S. bank Goldman Sachs, one of the most bearish forecasters on oil over the past year, on Monday raised its short-term price outlook as it said the market had flipped into a deficit due to production outages in Nigeria and Canada. Goldman, one of the most active banks in commodities, had been predicting as recently as a few months ago that oil prices could fall below $20 a barrel due to global oversupply. click here.

 May 17 - Hedge funds turn cautious on crude just as Goldman gets less bearish: Kemp
"The oil market has gone from nearing storage saturation to being in deficit much earlier than we expected," Goldman Sachs analysts said in a research note published on Sunday. "The physical rebalancing of the oil market has finally started," according to the bank, which has been among the most bearish on the outlook for surpluses and prices. click here.

 May 17 - Venezuela says better oil loans deal reached with China
Venezuela has reached a deal with its main financier China to improve the conditions of an oil-for-loans deal, giving the OPEC member's crisis-hit economy "oxygen" ahead of heavy debt payments, its top economic official said on Monday. Venezuelan Economy Vice-President Miguel Perez told Reuters that all conditions, including loan time frames, investment amounts and non-financial aspects, had been improved. click here.

May 16 - Refiners struggle to stay afloat as Asia drowns in gasoline
Asia's refined product markets are being swamped by a wave of gasoline as a long-lasting crude oil glut spills into the one fuel market refiners had hoped would save them, ruining margins and dragging down share prices across the region. Singapore's benchmark gasoline margins - long the bright spot for Asia's oil processors amid rock-bottom profits earned on diesel, jet and shipping fuel - have more than halved since the beginning of 2016, when they were near at least a seven-year high for first-quarter values. click here.

 May 16 - China April crude oil output lowest since July 2013
China, the world's fourth-largest oil producer, pumped 5.6 percent less crude year-on-year in April, official data showed, as oil firms struggled with cost pressures with crude prices hovering around $40 a barrel. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics released on Saturday showed China produced 16.59 million tonnes of crude oil last month, or about 4.04 million barrels per day (bpd), the lowest rate since July 2013 on a daily basis. click here.

May 16 - Iraq oil projects face delays as companies resist spending cuts
International oil firms have warned Iraq that projects to increase its crude output will be delayed if the government insists on drastic spending cuts this year, a senior Iraqi oil official said on Friday. Oil companies helping Iraq develop its massive oil fields effectively perform a role similar to oil service firms in that they have to clear spending with the government each year. They are then repaid with crude oil produced from existing fields. click here.

 May 16 - S.Korea's Iran crude imports jump over 67 pct y/y in April
South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil jumped 67 percent in April from the same month a year earlier, soaring after international sanctions were lifted on Iran's disputed nuclear programme. Seoul brought in 863,557 tonnes of Iranian crude oil last month, or 210,996 barrels per day (bpd), compared with 516,918 tonnes a year ago, the data showed. click here.

 May 16 - Speculators cut bullish wagers on U.S. crude -CFTC
Money managers cut their bullish bets on U.S. crude futures and options positions for the second week in a row, data showed on Friday as investors cashed in on a rally from multi-year lows. Until April, crude had been on one of the strongest rebounds since the financial crisis, with prices rallying nearly 80 percent from multi-year lows under $30 in the first quarter, supported by falling U.S. production, supply constraints in Libya and the Americas and a weak dollar. click here.

May 13 - Glencore bets big on North Sea oil, holds over 30 pct of June benchmark supply  
Glencore has built up one of the largest positions in part of the Brent crude market which acts as a benchmark for global oil prices since the start of the year, when Royal Dutch Shell deployed a similar strategy, trade sources say. The Brent market is based on four North Sea crude oils - Brent, Forties, Oseberg and Ekofisk, or BFOE. Glencore is holding more than a third of the 37 BFOE cargoes loading in June and is expected to acquire more, the sources said. click here.

 May 13 - Russia's Novak: Global oil market won't balance before H1 2017
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Thursday that the global oil surplus stood at 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) and that the market might not balance out until the first half of 2017. A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers fell apart last month after Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in, ruining any chance of sealing what would have been the first such cooperation plan in 15 years. click here.

 May 13 - Global oil demand surprises on the upside: Kemp
Global oil consumption is growing much faster than most analysts expected at the start of the year but increases in demand remain very uneven geographically and by fuel. World oil demand increased by 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first three months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015, the International Energy Agency said on Thursday ("Oil Market Report", IEA, May 2016). click here.

 May 13 - Canadian oil producers warn of supply shortfalls after wildfire
CNOOC Ltd's Nexen is the latest Canadian oil sands company to warn customers it may not be able to fulfill supply contracts in the wake of a massive wildfire, as producers scramble to get facilities back online. Nexen has issued a force majeure for all of its May production of Canadian heavy crude, two sources said on Thursday. Four major oil firms have now declared force majeure, a contract clause to remove liability for unavoidable catastrophes. click here.

May 12 - No big bang, but quiet reforms reshaping China's oil and gas sector  
Expect no radical "big bang" in China's shake-up of its giant state-run energy firms, but a series of experimental and incremental steps that Beijing has quietly embarked on may still bring meaningful change to an economically crucial sector. Reform of sprawling state-owned enterprises (SOEs) to improve efficiency is a priority for China's leaders as growth slows in the world's second biggest economy, and was a key plank of the country's latest five-year plan agreed in 2015. click here.

 May 12 - U.S. refiners seek alternatives to crude from Canada oil sands
U.S. Midwest refiners are rushing to secure alternatives for crude supply as they worry about prolonged outages after a raging wildfire in Canada shut nearly half of production capacity from the vast oil sands. Even with some 1 million barrels per day in Canadian production capacity still offline due to the massive wildfire, sufficient U.S. supply is no problem, traders said. They pointed to record crude stocks at the U.S. hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, swelling domestic supplies as well as growing imports from Latin America, West Africa and the Middle East.click here.

 May 12 - Canadian oilfield workers readying return after wildfire  
Workers for one of the largest oil sands companies affected by a wildfire in northern Canada will begin returning to the shuttered facilities on Thursday, a union official said, the latest indication the key petroleum production area was slowly coming back online. Meanwhile, also on Wednesday, the premier of the province of Alberta and the head of the Canadian Red Cross announced that residents of Fort McMurray, the oil-boom town that was evacuated last week because of the fire, would be offered direct financial aid. click here.

 May 12 - Oil refiners, gas producers face higher costs from climate laws - report  
Oil refiners and gas producers could face higher production costs if countries use a high carbon price to follow through promises made at last year's global climate summit in Paris, research showed on Thursday. The landmark Paris Agreement was a commitment by nearly 200 countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions from 2020 with the aim of limiting the rise in the global average temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius. click here.

 May 12 - U.S. refiners tighten belts as golden era fades
U.S. independent oil refiners, such as Marathon Petroleum and Phillips 66, are shelving projects and tightening budgets, as a global glut of diesel and gasoline erodes profits, ending a golden era of high refining margins. For the past six years, U.S. refiners have spent billions of dollars on expansion, enjoying bumper profits fueled by growing domestic and global demand for gasoline and diesel amid rising supply of domestic crude. click here.

May 11 - Saudi Aramco finalises IPO options and plans global expansion
Saudi Arabia's state-owned oil giant Aramco is finalising proposals for its partial privatisation and will present them to its Supreme Council soon, its chief executive said about the centrepiece of the kingdom's efforts to overhaul its economy. The company has a huge team working on the options for the initial public offering (IPO) of less than 5 percent of its value, which include a single domestic listing and a dual listing with a foreign market, CEO Amin Nasser said on Tuesday. click here.

 May 11 - Energy deals elusive despite $110 bln in assets on the block
Energy companies, including some of the world's biggest, could be forced to slash prices of more than $110 billion worth of assets they want to sell after dealmaking in oil and gas fields ground to a halt due to the volatile crude market. The values that buyers and sellers assign to assets, largely based on their view on the future oil price, drifted far apart in the past year, according to several industry bankers. click here.

 May 11 - Iran cuts crude prices vs Saudis, Iraq in market share fight
Iran has set its June official selling prices (OSPs) for heavier crude grades it sells to Asia at the biggest discounts to Saudi and Iraqi oil since 2007-2008, raising the stakes in its fight to regain market share. This is third time Iran has changed price formulas since January, underscoring its need for competitive pricing to push more exports into Asia after international sanctions against it were lifted early in the year. click here.

May 11 - Say goodbye to OPEC, Russia’s Sechin says
Internal differences are killing OPEC and its ability to influence the markets has all but evaporated, top Russian oil executive Igor Sechin told Reuters in some of his harshest remarks ever about the oil cartel. Russia, which has been hit hard by the oil price collapse, was flirting with the idea of cooperating with OPEC in recent months until tensions between OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Iran ruined a global deal to freeze output. click here.

 May 11 - Canadian oil production trickles back as wildfire threat eases
Oil sands companies around the Canadian energy center of Fort McMurray began to restart operations on Tuesday after an out-of-control wildfire forced a week-long shutdown. Top provincial and industry officials said production in much of the region should ramp up soon. click here.

 May 11 - Oil rally loses momentum: Kemp
The rally that carried oil prices up by more than $20 per barrel between the middle of January and the end of April seems to have run out of steam for the time being. Spot crude prices, time spreads and refining margins have all showed signs of weakening since the start of this month. click here.

May 10 - Libya's oil output slashed as export row rages
Libya's crude oil output has fallen to a trickle amid a standoff over export rights that prevented trading giant Glencore from loading a tanker. Libya's production was down to 212,000 barrels on Monday, after the largest National Oil Corp (NOC) subsidiary, AGOCO, was forced to slash output by one-third from southeastern fields, an NOC spokesman in Tripoli said. click here.

 May 10 - Producers, refiners see prolonged shutdown from Canadian wildfire
Oil producers and refiners braced on Monday for a prolonged shutdown and possible supply constraints from Canada's vast oil sands region as a destructive wildfire continued into a second week. Cooler and possible wetter weather looked to help firefighters battling the massive blaze as Canadian officials planned to take their first look at oil boom town Fort McMurray. click here.

 May 10 - Spectre of gasoline, diesel glut reverses oil's gains
A growing overhang of gasoline and diesel fuelled a sharp sell-off in oil futures on Monday that reversed a recent rally over the wildfires in the heart of Canada's oil sands region, traders and analysts said. The sell-off came amid warnings that supplies could outpace global demand even during the peak summer driving season that traditionally kicks in at the end of May. click here.

 May 10 - Saudi Arabia's oil policy could become more transparent: Kemp  
The appointment of Khalid al-Falih as Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister to replace veteran oil minister Ali al-Naimi is likely to bring a big shift in style even if the substance of policy remains largely unchanged. Naimi has served as the minister of petroleum and natural resources since 1995 and has long indicated a wish to retire (“Saudi considers Naimi’s successor as oilmin”, Reuters, 2010). click here.

 May 10 - In rare reversal, Brazil exports diesel to Europe
Brazil has joined a list of countries exporting diesel to Europe, reversing a traditional route and underscoring a weakening of the largest South American economy. At least three 37,000 tonne cargoes of diesel, on the tankers Torm Gunhild, High Performance and MT Alexandros, have sailed in recent weeks from Brazil to Europe, according to Reuters ship tracking data and traders. click here.

May 09 - As Canada blaze grows, fears about crude supplies deepen, prices rally
Oil producers and refiners braced on Monday for further supply constraints from the wildfires that have shut one half of Canada's vast oil sands capacity and forced BP and other big oil firms to warn they would not be able to deliver on some contracts. While Sunday's cooler weather, light rain and favorable winds helped control the advance of the blaze that razed neighborhoods in Alberta's oil sands boomtown, Fort McMurray, regional energy firms continued to shut facilities as a precaution, sending futures prices up 2 percent in early trading. click here.

 May 09 - Managing Saudi's new energy mega-ministry may bring challenges
Managing Saudi Arabia's new energy mega-ministry, set to oversee over half the economy and designed to cut through a tangled bureaucracy to make government more coherent and efficient, will be a formidable challenge. The new Energy, Industry and Mineral Resources Ministry, under Khalid al-Falih, already chairman of state oil company Saudi Aramco, will handle oil and gas extraction, power generation and distribution, mining and industrial development. click here.

 May 09 - Saudi oil price hike justifiable, possibly perspicacious: Russell
Saudi Arabia's decision to hike crude oil prices to Asian customers by the most in more than a year is both understandable and curious. Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state oil company, lifted its official selling price (OSP) for June-loading cargoes for the main Arab Light grade to a premium of 25 cents a barrel to the Oman-Dubai benchmark, up $1.10 from a discount of 85 cents for May deliveries. click here.

 May 09 - Brazil's fuel consumption falls as economy shrinks: Kemp
Brazil’s consumption of gasoline and diesel is falling as the country’s commodity-driven boom falls apart and the economy shrinks. Brazil’s gasoline sales grew at an average annual rate of nearly 7 percent between 2004 and 2014 while diesel use was up by more than 4 percent per year. click here.

 May 09 - Hedge funds cut bullish oil bets as prices slip
Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish bets on U.S. crude futures and options this week, data showed on Friday, taking profit on an outsized April rally that boosted speculators' wagers for higher oil prices to near 10-month highs. The speculator group reduced for the first time in four weeks its net long position on combined futures and options of U.S. crude in New York and London, according to data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). click here.

 May 09 - Oil drillers dig for the bottom for rig counts
For the past year and a half, a chart of the number of U.S. oil rigs in operation has resembled a death-defying ski slope - but soon it may be time to get back on the chair lift. The U.S. rig count may finally be bottoming out as U.S. oil companies look for oil prices to rally just a bit more, a signal that the time has come to deploy more capital and get production moving again, analysts say. click here.

May 06 - Americas, Asia do what OPEC wouldn't: cut oil production
Wildfires in Canada. Instability in Venezuela. U.S. frackers at a standstill. Drops in oil output are happening so fast that it looks as if the Americas alone could resolve global oversupply. The 70 percent price slide between 2014 and early 2016 has been pegged to one problem: production exceeding demand by as much as 2 million barrels per day (bpd). click here.

 May 06 - Imported crude congests U.S. Gulf storage, pressuring prices
A slew of crude imports from Iraq, Angola and other countries has storage tanks in the eastern U.S. Gulf bulging, pressuring physical prices, causing port congestion and delaying deliveries into Louisiana, traders said. With arrivals into the world's biggest energy market this month set to top April levels, traders expect the strain on U.S. infrastructure could move inland, further swelling inventories already at record highs. click here.

 May 06 - Shift in Saudi oil thinking deepens OPEC split
As OPEC officials gathered this week to formulate a long-term strategy, few in the room expected the discussions would end without a clash. But even the most jaded delegates got more than they had bargained with. "OPEC is dead," declared one frustrated official, according to two sources who were present or briefed about the Vienna meeting. click here.

 May 06 - Canadian wildfire grows tenfold, forces more evacuations
A catastrophic wildfire that has forced all 88,000 residents to flee Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada exploded tenfold in size on Thursday, cutting off evacuees in camps north of the city and putting communities to the south in extreme danger. The out-of-control blaze has burned down whole neighborhoods of Fort McMurray in Canada's energy heartland and forced a precautionary shutdown of some oil production, driving up global oil prices. click here.

 May 06 - Oil rivals cooperate to slash equipment costs - Shell
Ten oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron and BP are working together to develop standard production equipment, a rare cooperation among rivals to save money as low oil prices put pressure on budgets. Bespoke valves, paints and underwater equipment are among the items that could be mass-produced at a cheaper cost, Harry Brekelmans, Shell's Projects and Technology Director told Reuters. click here.

 May 06 - Libya oil output could fall if Hariga port dispute continues
Libya may be forced to cut oil production within days if a stand-off between eastern and western factions that has prevented loadings at the Marsa al-Hariga port continues, an official from oil firm NOC in Tripoli told Reuters on Thursday. The Tripoli-based NOC official said that remaining storage capacity at the port was limited and filling up fast. click here.

May 05 - DUCs in a row: Oilfield servicers to gain as more wells completed
U.S. shale producers are returning to unfinished business - completing previously drilled wells - offering a ray of hope for oilfield service providers battered by the oil slump. Halliburton Co and Baker Hughes Inc, the world's second and third-largest oilfield services companies, indicated on Tuesday that they expected a drop in the large number of drilled-but-uncompleted wells (DUCs) as crude oil prices steady. click here.

 May 05 - Libyan crude output at risk as east and west tussle for control
Libya's crippled oil production appeared at risk of further decline on Wednesday after an escalating stand-off between rival eastern and western political factions prevented a cargo belonging to trading giant Glencore from loading. A Tripoli oil official warned the country's oil output could fall by 120,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) if the Benghazi-based National Oil Corporation (NOC), set up by the eastern government, continues to block tankers loading for Tripoli from the eastern Marsa el-Hariga port. click here.

 May 05 - Colder winter could save distillate market: Kemp
The warmest winter for more than 30 years reduced fuel oil demand drastically in the United States in 2015/16 and left the country heavily oversupplied with heating oil. The good news for refiners and heating oil suppliers, however, is that winter 2016/17 will almost certainly be colder, boosting demand in the months ahead. click here.

 May 05 - U.S. crude stockpiles rise more than expected to fresh record high- EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose more than expected to fresh record highs last week as imports ticked higher, while gasoline inventories posted a surprise build as refineries ramped up production, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 2.8 million barrels in the week to April 29 to 543.4 million barrels, building by about a million barrels more than analysts' expectations. click here.

 May 05 - Iran's NIOC official says oil exports above 2 mln bpd - IRNA
Iran's oil exports have risen above 2 million barrels a day, the official news agency IRNA reported on Wednesday, citing Mohsen Ghamsari, director for international affairs at National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC). In March, NIOC said exports had reached 1.8 million bpd. click here.

May 04 - U.S. oil industry bankruptcy wave nears size of telecom bust
The rout in crude prices is snowballing into one of the biggest avalanches in the history of corporate America, with 59 oil and gas companies now bankrupt after this week's filings for creditor protection by Midstates Petroleum and Ultra Petroleum. The number of U.S. energy bankruptcies is closing in on the staggering 68 filings seen during the depths of the telecom bust of 2002 and 2003, according to Reuters data, the law firm Haynes & Boone and bankruptcydata.com. click here.

 May 04 - Saudi-Iran split muddies OPEC long-term strategy - sources
OPEC has yet to agree on a long-term strategy as Saudi Arabia objects to a proposal from arch-rival Iran that the exporter group aim for tighter control of the oil market, sources said, pointing to deep divisions over the way forward. The OPEC board of governors met on Monday in Vienna to discuss the latest draft of its LTS. While they made progress on some issues, OPEC kingpin Riyadh disagreed with Tehran's proposal to include "effective production management" as a challenge for the group, two OPEC sources said. click here.

 May 04 - Risks rise as hedge funds place record bet on oil: Kemp
Hedge funds increased their net long positions in Brent and WTI derivatives by 7 million barrels to a record 663 million barrels in the week ending April 26. Even though oil prices have already risen by roughly $20 per barrel (70 percent) from their low in January, hedge funds are more bullish than at any time since oil prices started slumping in the summer of 2014. click here.

 May 04 - U.S. energy CEOs ready for new drilling as oil prices plot upward path
After cutting spending and staff levels to the bone, U.S. oil executives say they are getting ready for new drilling projects as a 50 percent increase in crude prices since February leads them to believe the worst of the downturn may be over. Any price rise above $50 per barrel could fuel a resurgence in the U.S. shale industry, which saw drilling and fracking of new wells put on holdover the past year as oil prices plumbed near $25 per barrel. click here.

 May 04 - Venezuela's PDVSA quietly issues new debt to pay off suppliers
Venezuelan state oil firm PDVSA has issued at least $310 million in debt to companies including General Electric Co as it negotiates private issuances to pay off its suppliers, industry sources told Reuters, stretching the finances of a company that bondholders already worry is on its way to default. The securities are not bonds but offer rights similar to those enjoyed by bondholders, and at least one issue offers dispute resolution via the Paris-based International Chamber of Commerce, according to one of the three sources, who cited a term sheet. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here. click here.

 May 04 - Canadian wildfire forces evacuation order for entire city
The Canadian province of Alberta raced to evacuate the entire population of Fort McMurray where an uncontrolled wildfire was taking hold in the heart of the country's oil sands region, with dry winds forecast for Wednesday that could fuel the blaze. Alberta appealed for military help to battle the fire and airlift people from the smoke-filled city after authorities issued a mandatory evacuation order for 80,000, but officials said army and air force assistance would take two days to arrive. click here.

 May 04 - West Africa pirates switch to kidnapping crew as oil fetches less
Pirate gangs in West Africa are switching to kidnapping sailors and demanding ransom rather than stealing oil cargoes as low oil prices have made crude harder to sell and less profitable, shipping officials said on Tuesday. Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea - a significant source of oil, cocoa and metals for world markets - have become less frequent partly due to improved patrolling but also to lower oil prices, according to an annual report from the U.S. foundation Oceans Beyond Piracy (OBP), which is backed by the shipping industry. click here.

May 03 - China's 'teapot' oil imports to stall on port bottlenecks
Logistical bottlenecks and swelling crude inventories will soon force China's independent refiners to cut back on a surge of imports, possibly threatening a recent recovery in oil prices, said a senior official from China's biggest private refiner. China's independent oil refiners, known as teapots, were granted licenses to import crude only last year, and their emergence has acted as a catalyst to turn around one of the steepest price routs ever, which saw crude futures tumble by more than 70 percent between 2014 and early 2016. click here.

 May 03 - Baker Hughes tries to reassure investors as Halliburton deal fails 
Baker Hughes Inc sought to reassure investors on Monday by announcing a $2.5 billion plan to buy back stock and pay down debt, using the breakup fee it will receive following the collapse of its long-stalled takeover by fellow oilfield services provider Halliburton Inc. Now each company must map out a strategy to thrive on its own. Both had hoped the merger would help them weather the worst oil price crash in a generation, which has caused hundreds of thousands of layoffs across the industry. click here.

 May 03 - As oil plows through $45 a barrel, U.S. producers rush to lock in prices
U.S. oil producers pounced on this month's 20 percent rally in crude futures to the highest level since November, locking in better prices for their oil by selling future output and securing an additional lifeline for the years-long downturn. The flurry of dealing kicked off when prices pierced $45 per barrel earlier in April. It picked up in recent weeks, allowing producers to continue to pump crude even if prices crash anew. click here.

 May 03 - India's April Iran oil imports up 49 pct from a year ago - tanker data
India's oil imports from Iran rose 48.8 percent in April from a year ago as refiners bought more crude after the lifting of sanctions against the OPEC producer, although the purchases were down from a multi-year high hit the previous month. Refiners in the world's third-largest crude importer took in 393,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iranian oil in April, the first month of the new contract year, according to preliminary tanker arrival data from trade sources and ship-tracking services on the Thomson Reuters terminal. click here.

 May 03 - Pipe dreams still alive for selected few in US energy rout
An energy market rout has ravaged fortunes from Texas to North Dakota and hit thousands of small investors, but some tycoons are still coining it in thanks to a piece of financial engineering that has tilted the playing field in their favor. U.S. pipeline billionaire Kelcy Warren, for example, has pocketed over $300 million in cash payouts from his company Energy Transfer Equity since the price of oil started to crater in mid-2014, according to a Reuters analysis based on filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. click here.

 May 03 - U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal in shareholder suit against BP
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined a request from shareholders seeking to revive their class action lawsuit against BP claiming the British oil company misrepresented its safety procedures prior to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The court left in place a September 2015 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that refused to certify the lawsuit filed by investors who bought shares in the 2-1/2 years before the spill. BP's share price plummeted after the disaster, which has cost the company more than $55 billion. click here.

May 02 - As commodity rally fizzles, investors home in on oil, softs
The rapid speculative rally in commodity markets is already petering out as focus returns to oversupplied markets, but dipping into a few choice assets could yield strong returns later this year. Fund managers say crude oil and some soft commodities may see tightness, while political uncertainty could boost gold. But for industrial metals such as copper, reliant on Chinese demand, prospects are poor. click here.

 May 02 - IEA chief says oil price bottoming depends on global growth
International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Sunday that oil prices may have bottomed out, providing that the health of the global economy does not pose a concern. Oil prices hit 2016 highs on Friday with Brent crude reaching $48.50 a barrel on optimism that a global oil glut will ease. That, coupled with a weaker dollar, has helped lift crude futures by more than $20 a barrel since prices plumbed 12-year lows below $30 in the first quarter. click here.

 May 02 - Oil rally is not just about hedge funds: Kemp
Oil prices are becoming dangerously overheated as speculators anticipate a rebalancing of supply and demand that has barely started, according to many oil analysts. "Even as oil rallies, analysts have barely nudged up their price forecasts as they worry that crude's recent gains might not be sustainable," notes the Wall Street Journal ("Analysts just aren't buying the oil rally", April 28). click here.

 May 02 - OPEC oil output near record high in April as Iran, Iraq growth offsets outages - survey
OPEC's oil output rosein April to close to the highest level in recent history, a Reuters survey found on Friday, as production increases led by Iran and Iraq more than offset a strike in Kuwait and other outages. Top exporter Saudi Arabia, however, made no major change to output, the survey found, despite the kingdom hinting it could boost supply after OPEC and non-member nations failed to agree to freeze output at a meeting on April 17. click here.

 May 02 - Halliburton and Baker Hughes scrap $28 bln merger
Oilfield services provider Halliburton Co and smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc announced the termination of their $28 billion merger deal on Sunday after opposition from U.S. and European antitrust regulators. The tie-up would have brought together the world's No. 2 and No. 3 oil services companies, raising concerns it would result in higher prices in the sector. It is the latest example of a large merger deal failing to make it to the finish line because of antitrust hurdles. click here.

 May 02 - Analysts grow more bullish on oil, OPEC poses no threat to rebalancing
Analysts are growing increasingly confident that a near-two-year rout in oil has ended, and raised their price forecasts for a second month running, as healthier demand and a drop in U.S. shale output balance the market by 2017. The inability of OPEC and non-OPEC producers to agree to limit oil output at a meeting earlier this month is not expected to slow the rebalancing of global demand and supply. click here.

 May 02 - As prices rallied, speculators raised bullish U.S. oil bets
Money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude futures and options to fresh ten-month highs in the week to April 26 as prices rallied to their highest this year on hopes stronger demand will help deplete record stocks, data showed on Friday. Adding to their net long for the third straight week, the speculator group raised its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 6,013 contracts to 243,653 during the period, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. click here.

Apr 29 - Saudis to push oil output higher but won't flood market - sources
Saudi Arabia's oil output will edge up close to record highs in coming weeks to meet summer demand for power but is unlikely to be pushed to the limit and flood global markets, Saudi-based industry sources said. Production may rise to around 10.5 million barrels per day (bpd) during summer, the sources said. Supply in April has held steady to slightly lower at about 10.15 million bpd, said three industry sources who monitor Saudi output. click here.

 Apr 29 - Betting on falling oil supplies, traders pile into risky options
Oil companies and speculators have piled into complex, high-risk spread options, betting that oil prices will extend their recent rally on tightening supplies and resurgent exports, the latest sign of growing optimism in the world's top energy market. In these options deals, investors are wagering that June futures' discount to July will tighten around 40 percent to 50 cents or more, which would be one of the smallest spreads, known as a contango, since December. click here.

 Apr 29 - Unsold crude at sea raises warning flag to oil price bounce
Dozens of tankers with unsold crude have been amassing at sea in the past few weeks, vividly reminiscent of 2015 when a recovery in oil prices was scuppered by rising physical supply. Oil futures have rallied some 75 percent so far this year, reaching a 2016 high above $47 a barrel, fuelled by the belief that nearly two years of excess has abated. click here.

 Apr 29 - Rare gasoline cargo heads from China to United States
Trading house Trafigura is shipping a rare cargo of gasoline from China to the United States, as the recent weakening of the Asian market after months of stock builds opens up new routes. Asian gasoline stocks have risen sharply in recent months as traders and refiners betting on strong summer demand for the road fuel in China and other countries ramped up imports and production. click here.

 Apr 29 - Rising oil prices throw lifeline to shale producers: Kemp
Brent prices for 2017 ended trading above $50 per barrel on Wednesday for the first time since mid-December following the largest and most sustained rally in prices since the oil slump started. The average for the 12 futures contracts expiring in 2017, called the calendar strip, has risen by 34 percent from its recent low of $37.45 on Jan. 20 to $50.26 on April 27. click here.

 Apr 29 - Libya outlines ambitious plans to restore oil output
Libya's National Oil Corporation has ambitious plans to restore output to pre-2011 levels after years of violence and disruption, officials said. Oil output is now less than a quarter of the 1.6 million barrels per day Libya pumped before Muammar Gaddafi fell in 2011, and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) in Tripoli hopes to ramp it up swiftly with the backing of a new unity government. click here.

 Apr 29 - Oil loses commodity trade crown to unlikely challenger: rebar
Crude oil futures, long the king of commodity trading, have lost their dominant position as the world's most traded and valuable derivative in the resources sector to an unlikely challenger: Chinese rebar. Soaring volumes as well as a price jump since the beginning of the year have seen Shanghai rebar steel futures move past both major crude benchmarks, international Brent futures and U.S. Texas Intermediate (WTI), in April to make it the world's most traded commodity futures. click here.

Apr 28 - Saudi Aramco sets financing plans for industrial push
The world's biggest energy company Saudi Aramco outlined financing plans on Wednesday that will support its expansion into new areas under a sweeping economic reform plan released by Riyadh this week. The reforms envisage Aramco transforming itself from an oil and gas firm into a "global industrial conglomerate" involved in many sectors and services, using its vast financial resources to create jobs and help diversify the Saudi economy beyond oil. click here.

 Apr 28 - Oil majors' results surprise, but output fall, volatile trading
Major oil companies' first-quarter results have so far not been as bad as feared but volatile trading operations and a likely fall in production mean any respite could be short lived. Europe's big oil producers had been expected to report their worst quarterly earnings in the current downturn but instead BP, Total and Statoil have delivered share-boosting first-quarter results. click here.

 Apr 28 - Saudi Arabia will struggle to kick its addiction to oil: Kemp
"King Abdulaziz and the men who worked with him for the establishment of the state did not depend on oil and they established the kingdom without oil, and they ran this state without oil, and they lived in this state without oil," Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in an televised interview on Monday. The deputy crown prince criticised the kingdom's subsequent "addiction" to oil which has "disrupted the development of many sectors in the past years" implying this was a relatively recent problem. click here.

 Apr 28 - Trading company in oil shipment for Libya's eastern NOC says cargo legitimate
A trading company involved in loading 650,000 barrels of oil for a parallel national oil corporation set up by one of Libya's rival governments said on Wednesday it believed the shipment was legitimate and had not been notified otherwise. The shipment on behalf of Libya's eastern NOC was loaded onto the Indian-flagged Distya Ameya, which left the port of Marsa el-Hariga late on Monday in defiance of authorities in Tripoli. click here.

 Apr 28 - U.S. crude inventories rise less than expected - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose last week to a fresh record high as lower refinery production offset a drop in imports, while distillate inventories fell more than expected, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 2 million barrels in the week to April 22, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.4 million barrels. click here.

 Apr 28 - Baker Hughes expects U.S. rig count to stabilize later in 2016
Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc said on Wednesday it expects U.S. rig count will begin to stabilize in the second half of 2016, while the rig count globally will drop steadily through the end of the year due to fewer new projects. However, the company, which also reported a bigger first-quarter loss, said it does not expect drilling activity in the United States to increase meaningfully this year, even if the rig count steadies. click here.

Apr 27 - Cheap oil smudges Exxon's long-held sterling credit rating
Exxon Mobil Corp lost its top-tier credit rating from Standard & Poor's on Tuesday for the first time in almost 70 years, as slumping crude prices crimp the oil giant's ability to fund projects and return big amounts of cash to shareholders. S&P, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc, cut Exxon's rating to "AA+" from "AAA," a one-notch demotion that leaves drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and Microsoft Corp as the only U.S. companies with the coveted, sterling rating that dozens of U.S. corporations enjoyed in the 1980s. click here.

 Apr 27 - Eastern Libya ships first oil cargo in defiance of Tripoli
A government based in eastern Libya has shipped its first cargo of crude in defiance of authorities in the capital Tripoli, a bold move that could deepen the divisions that have brought chaos since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi. The Tripoli authorities asked the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to blacklist the India-flagged tanker Distya Ameya, which left the eastern Libyan port of Hariga overnight carrying oil they said could not be lawfully sold. click here.

 Apr 27 - As glut persists, Saudis and Kuwait struggle to restart Khafji oilfield
Kuwait and Saudi Arabia appear no closer to restarting their jointly operated Khafji oilfield, industry sources said, despite Kuwait saying the sides had agreed to ramp up output after an 18-month shutdown. Any delay in the restart of the Neutral Zone field that produced 280,000 to 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) before environmental problems forced its closure in October 2014 will be seen as a boost to global oil markets struggling to shake off a glut that has sent prices diving over the past two years. click here.

 Apr 27 - Venezuela oil refineries face operating woes, PDVSA launches tenders
Venezuela's key Paraguana oil refining complex as this week operating around half capacity, prompting state-run oil company PDVSA to launch purchase tenders for products as it tries to offset power outages and equipment failures. While Amuay's fluid catalytic cracker(FCC) restarted on Monday, the 645,000 barrel-per-day refinery was operating at only around 360,000 bpd as its flexicoker remained down, union boss and fierce government critic Ivan Freites said on Tuesday. click here.

Apr 26 - Aramco value to top $2 trillion, less than 5 pct to be sold, says prince
Saudi Arabia expects state oil company Saudi Aramco to be valued at more than $2 trillion and plans to sell less than 5 percent of it through an initial public offering (IPO), Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Monday. He said in a television interview that he wanted it to be transformed into a holding company with an elected board. click here.

 Apr 26 - China end-March gasoline stocks highest since July 2014
China's commercial crude oil stocks at the end of March edged down 0.4 percent from the previous month, and refined fuel stocks were holding at near four-year highs, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday. Gasoline led the March stocks with an 11 percent rise from the previous month, booking the biggest monthly gain since last March, China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals (OGP), a Xinhua oil and gas newsletter reported. click here.

 Apr 26 - Next oil downturn? Looming gasoline glut threatens crude's rebound
A rebound in oil prices this year from 12-year lows is in danger of coming to a crashing halt, as the main engine of global demand growth for the past several years starts to sputter amid signs of a gasoline glut. Crude oil has rallied more two-thirds from its mid-January nadir on robust demand from refineries worldwide, stoking cautious optimism among producers and exporters that the epic rout that slashed global prices by 75 percent between mid-2014 and early 2016 is finally over. click here.

 Apr 26 - Iraq's southern oil exports hit record high so far in April
Oil exports from southern Iraq have reached a record monthly rate so far in April as OPEC's second-largest producer resumes the supply growth that has added downward pressure on prices. Baghdad had given verbal support to an initiative by OPEC and outside producers to freeze output. But they failed to reach a deal at an April 17 meeting, and rising exports from Iraq as well as other nations including Russia underline the challenges to any further attempt at curbing supply. click here.

 Apr 26 - Oil corporation allied to east Libya government loads tanker for export - officials
A parallel national oil corporation allied to Libya's eastern government loaded a shipment of 650,000 barrels at the Marsa el-Hariga terminal on Monday in an effort to sell oil for the first time, officials said. The eastern NOC has long sought to export oil, but has been opposed by the Western-backed NOC in Tripoli, which says any such sale would be in breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions. Western powers say protecting the integrity of the NOC and central bank in Tripoli, which have kept functioning throughout Libya's crisis, is crucial. click here.

 Apr 26 - Indonesia OPEC governor: no urgency to freeze output with oil at $45
Indonesia's governor to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday that oil at $45 a barrel was "not bad" and that there would be no urgency to freeze output if crude remained at that price. Despite failure to reach a deal to curb oil output and support prices at an April 17 meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers, crude prices have maintained a general upward trend since hitting a 12-year trough in mid-January. click here.

Apr 25 - Iran finds Doha meeting, despite failure, a positive step
Iran's oil minister said on Saturday that last week's Doha meeting to freeze oil production, despite its failure, was a positive step and Iran would support any plan to stabilise the market. "Doha meeting was not fruitful but we see it as a positive step as it initiated negotiations between OPEC and non-OPEC member countries and showed to the main oil producers in OPEC that something should be done to change the situation," Bijan Namdar Zanganeh was quoted as saying by the oil ministry's news agency, SHANA. click here.

 Apr 25 - Investors look beyond Big Oil's worst quarter yet
The world's top oil companies are set to report their worst quarterly results yet in the current downturn but a recent recovery in crude prices is raising hopes the market has bottomed out. An ever intensifying oil supply glut took global prices to a near 13-year low of $27.10 a barrel on Jan. 20, exacerbating pressure on oil producers already grappling with a more than 70 percent slide in prices since mid-2014. click here.

 Apr 25 - Libya's NOC says eastern govt tried to export 650,000 barrels
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said the eastern government attempted to export 650,000 barrels of oil this week, breaching U.N. resolutions, but that workers at the Marsa el-Hariga terminal had refused to load the shipment. "This had the potential to be a very ugly incident and I am pleased that it has been resolved peacefully without injury to anybody or loss of revenue or damage to the integrity of NOC or the country," Tripoli-based Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement released late on Friday. click here.

 Apr 25 - West African crude oil differentials heading for a fall
West African crude's price relative to benchmark Brent oil futures, a differential that recently hit its highest since August, is set to slide in coming weeks as ships languish outside Chinese ports and demand from India dips while refiners enter maintenance. Asian refiners buy over half of the more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd) of combined Angolan and Nigerian oil exports. click here.

Apr 22 - Senior Iranian official says new oil contracts model approved
The head of Iran's petroleum contracts committee said on Thursday the government had approved a model for new contracts but it was still being processed by a commission. Seyed Mehdi Hosseini, asked when the final draft of the contract will be ready and presented, told an oil summit in Paris that the committee he chairs was hoping for June or July. click here.

 Apr 22 - Russia pips Saudis again as top China crude supplier in March
Russia beat Saudi Arabia as China's top crude oil supplier in March, a follow-on to taking the No.1 spot in four months of 2015, customs data showed on Thursday, due to strong purchases from the Chinese independent refineries known as "teapots". Shipments from Russia rose 58 percent last month from a year ago to 1.09 million barrels per day (bpd), data showed. This compared with February volumes from Russia at 1.03 mln bpd and an all-time high at 1.13 million bpd in December. click here.

 Apr 22 - China's Unipec joins in storing gasoline on tankers in Asia
Chinese trader Unipec has joined European trading houses Vitol, Total and Gunvor in storing gasoline aboard tankers in Asia as it has insufficient land storage to contain overflowing fuel supplies, traders said on Thursday. Trade sources estimated there are at least five long-range (LR) vessels holding the petrol on Singapore/Malaysia waters. This, however, could not be directly confirmed as traders do not comment on their operations. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here. click here.

 Apr 22 - As market braces for Mexico hedging, U.S. oil options volatility surges
A marked rise in U.S. oil options volatility for contracts expiring in 2017 has sparked speculation among traders that the market is preparing for Mexico's annual hedging program, worth billions of dollars and one of the largest by a nation across commodities markets. The state-run producer typically buys put options for a portion of its annual output that give it the right to sell crude at a certain price - helping to protect revenue for national oil company Pemex as well as the country's oil-reliant economy - as the nearly two-year rout in crude prices punishes major producers. click here.

 Apr 22 - Nigeria plans shuttle diplomacy on oil, hopes for freeze deal in June
Nigeria will hold talks with Saudi Arabia, Iran and other oil producers by May, hoping to reach a deal on an output freeze at the next OPEC meeting in June, the West African country's oil minister told Reuters. A deal to stabilise oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers fell apart on Sunday after Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite calls on Riyadh to save the agreement and help prop up crude prices. click here.

 Apr 22 - Libya can quickly ramp up oil output if stability returns - NOC
Libya could rapidly increase oil production once political stability returns, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) told an industry summit on Thursday, adding that the country awaited the formation of a U.N.-backed government of national accord (GNA). OPEC member Libya's oil output has been slashed by years of fighting following the 2011 ousting of leader Muammar Gaddafi after 41 years in power. click here.

Apr 21 - In riposte to Riyadh, Russia says ready to ramp up oil output
Russia said on Wednesday it was prepared to push oil production to historic highs, just days after a global deal to freeze output levels collapsed and Saudi Arabia threatened to flood markets with more crude. Venezuela predicted prices could crash in the next few weeks if producers failed to resume dialogue and urged that non-OPEC participants be observers at a June OPEC meeting, as the spectre of oversupply loomed once more. click here.

 Apr 21 - China Jan-Feb gasoline imports may be trading play not demand -traders
An abrupt surge in Chinese gasoline imports in the first two months of the year is most likely the result of traders storing the fuel as a trading play rather than a legitimate uptick in China's need for automotive fuel, traders said. China's customs data recorded imports of 114,292 tonnes of gasoline in February that followed January imports of 84,485 tonnes, or about 1.7 million barrels combined for both months. The February imports were the largest intake of the motor fuel into China since 2008, when the country was ramping up supply for the Olympic Games that summer. click here.

 Apr 21 - Iran determined to regain oil market share, can handle low price - source
Iran is determined to recover its share of the world oil market following the lifting of sanctions, and can withstand low prices since it has sold oil for as little as $6 a barrel in the past, a source close to Iranian oil policy said. The source was speaking after Russia, one of the participants at last weekend's meeting of oil producing nations which failed to deliver an agreement to freeze output, indicated it could raise supply. click here.

 Apr 21 - IEA chief says oil market, prices to return to balance by 2017
International Energy Agency (IEA) chief Fatih Birol said on Thursday he expects the oil market to come back into balance from oversupply by next year, providing there is no major economic downturn. Birol said low oil prices have cut oil investment by about 40 percent in the past two years, with sharp falls in the United States, Canada, Latin America and Russia, and the world's reliance on Middle East oil will accelerate substantially in the next few years. click here.

 Apr 21 - Global refining margins help lift crude oil prices: Kemp
Global refining margins have improved significantly in recent weeks which should support strong demand for crude and lend some strength to both spot prices and spreads in the short term. While diesel markets remain oversupplied and margins poor, gasoline consumption is booming and margins have improved sharply, improving economics for many refineries. click here.

Apr 20 - Who speaks for Saudi Arabia on oil, rivals and allies wonder
As far as Venezuelan oil minister Eulogio Del Pino is concerned, his counterpart Ali al-Naimi, the world's most influential oil official for the past two decades, is no longer the voice of authority for Saudi Arabia. Del Pino is still trying to find who is. click here.

 Apr 20 - Iran struggles to find enough ships for oil exports
Iran faces a struggle to increase oil exports because many of its tankers are tied up storing crude, some are not seaworthy, and foreign shipowners remain reluctant to carry its cargoes. Tehran is seeking to make up for lost trade to Europe following the lifting of EU sanctions imposed in 2011 and 2012, which deprived it of a market that accounted for over a third of its exports and left it relying completely on Asian buyers. click here.

 Apr 20 - Kuwait oil, gas workers end 3-day strike - union
Kuwaiti oil and gas workers have ended a three-day strike that had temporarily cut the OPEC member's crude production by nearly half, the trade union said in a statement posted on its Twitter account. "In honor of his highness the Emir ... we have decided the following. First, the cancellation of the general strike and the attendance of all oil sector workers at their places of work beginning at seven in the morning on Wednesday 20 April 2016," the Oil & Petrochemicals Industries Workers Confederation wrote. click here.

 Apr 20 - Brent signals traders to release oil stocks: Kemp
Crude oil storage helped commodity traders and refiners make strong profits last year and in the first quarter of 2016 but now the price structure which made it possible is evaporating. In a typical storage strategy, known as “cash and carry”, traders buy physical crude and put it into storage in a tank farm, or more rarely on a tanker at sea. click here.

 Apr 20 - Iran sees oil output rising to pre-sanctions level by June
Iran's oil production will reach pre-sanctions levels within two months, a deputy oil minister was quoted as saying on Tuesday in what could be read as a signal that it might be willing to join efforts to support prices by the time OPEC meets next. Talks between OPEC and non-OPEC producers to freeze production broke down on Sunday when Saudi Arabia insisted that all members of the exporter group, including Iran, and non-OPEC producers should join in the deal. click here.

 Apr 20 - How ChemChina tried to gatecrash Shell's BG mega-deal
Chemical giant ChemChina approached BG Group with a possible bid late last year, just as Royal Dutch Shell was preparing to close a $52 billion deal to buy the British energy company, seven banking and industry sources with knowledge of the matter said. Working with investment bank HSBC, China's most acquisitive company of the past year flew a delegation to Britain in December and approached BG Chairman Andrew Gould with plans for a full cash bid, two sources close to ChemChina said. click here.

 Apr 20 - Hedge funds bet on tightening oil market despite Doha debacle: Kemp
Brent futures prices are signalling the market expects a rapid tightening of the supply-demand balance in the second half of 2016. The spread between futures prices for oil delivered in June and July has moved into a backwardation of 17 cents per barrel from a contango of almost 50 cents at the end of last month. click here.

Apr 19 - The global oil deal that never came to be
It was supposed to be the easiest deal ever reached among key oil market players, a mere formality. Eighteen countries were gathering in the Qatari capital of Doha to rubber-stamp the first joint agreement between major OPEC and non-OPEC nations in 15 years, tackling a huge global glut after flooding the market for two years. click here.

 Apr 19 - Kuwait to boost oil production despite strike
Kuwait plans to boost crude oil production back to normal levels, despite an open-ended strike by Kuwaiti oil workers, an official from state refiner Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) was quoted as saying on Monday. The Kuwaiti government has said it would take legal action against what it said were instigators of a strike by thousands of workers over planned public sector reforms which labour unions say will affect workers' benefits. click here.

 Apr 19 - Saudi Arabia turns oil weapon on Iran: Kemp
Saudi Arabia's decision to scupper negotiations on a coordinated oil output freeze in Doha on Sunday seems to confirm a significant shift in the kingdom's oil policy. For decades, the kingdom has insisted it does not wield oil as a diplomatic weapon, but at the weekend it did just that as part of an intensifying conflict with Iran. click here.

 Apr 19 - Largest-ever diesel cargo heads to Europe - traders, Reuters data
Europe is expected to receive its largest-ever diesel cargo after French refiner Total booked a super tanker to sail to the region even as it faces brimming storage tanks and wilting demand. Total has chartered the newly-built very large crude carrier (VLCC) tanker Alice to ship 270,000 tonnes of diesel, three times the typical cargo size on the route, from Asia to the port of Antwerp in Belgium, according to shipping data and Reuters ship tracking. click here.

 Apr 19 - U.S. oil investors rush for protection at $35 as Doha talks collapse
U.S. crude oil investors piled on bearish option bets on Monday, fearing prices may retest 12-year lows as futures prices sank almost 7 percent after talks by major exporters collapsed without agreement, erasing hopes the worldwide glut in oil would be eased. Open interest in the June puts that allow the holder to sell at $35 per barrel hit a record high above 36,000, up 8 percent from Thursday and more than double levels seen in January. click here.

 Apr 19 - Fund managers, convinced oil bottom is here, buy up energy stocks
After several false starts over the last two years, U.S. fund managers are betting that energy stocks have finally hit bottom. Firms including T. Rowe Price, Fidelity, and American Funds have been adding shares of exploration and production companies that they say have the most to gain from oil prices stabilizing. The price of oil fell from $115 a barrel to $27.88 between June 2014 and January of this year, yet is up more than 50 percent since hitting its low. click here

Apr 18 - Saudi-Iran tensions scupper deal to freeze oil output
A deal to freeze oil output by OPEC and non-OPEC producers fell apart on Sunday after Saudi Arabia demanded that Iran join in despite calls on Riyadh to save the agreement and help prop up crude prices. The development will revive oil industry fears that major producers are embarking again on a battle for market share, especially after Riyadh threatened to raise output steeply if no freeze deal were reached. click here.

 Apr 18 - Kuwait oil strike to support Brent, Dubai, reduce fuel exports -analysts
A workers' strike in Kuwait that has cut its crude output by more than 60 percent could support oil price benchmarks Brent and Dubai, and tighten oil product supplies as the country scales back refinery runs and exports, analysts said on Monday. OPEC producer Kuwait said on Sunday it has cut crude output to 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from normal production of about 3 million bpd. Output at its state refiner had already fallen to 520,000 bpd from 930,000 bpd before the work stoppage started on Sunday. click here.

 Apr 18 - In boost for Renzi, Italy drilling referendum fails to draw quorum
A referendum aimed at curbing Italy's offshore oil and gas industry was sunk on Sunday when it failed to secure the necessary quorum, with a sizeable majority of voters shunning the ballot, initial data showed. The result was a relief for Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who had called on people to abstain, saying the vote was unnecessary and would have hurt the economy. It was also good news for energy firm Eni which potentially had the most to lose. click here.

 Apr 18 - Speculators raise U.S. crude oil net longs - CFTC
Money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude in the week to April 12 after two straight weeks of cuts as market sentiment improved on hopes of an output freeze deal between the world's top producers, data showed on Friday. All eyes in the oil market have been on an upcoming meeting among some of the world's biggest oil exporters, including Saudi Arabia and Russia this weekend in Doha, Qatar, aimed at propping up weak prices. click here.

 Apr 18 - China March implied oil demand slips as fuel exports
China's implied oil demand fell 2.4 percent in March from the same month last year, due to a surprise dip in refinery throughput and a surge in refined fuel exports, according to official data. China consumed roughly 10.28 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in March, easing from an average rate of 10.51 million bpd during the Jan-February period, Reuters calculation based on preliminary government data showed on Friday. click here.

Apr 15 - After global oil freeze deal, prospects for cuts unclear and remote
An oil output cut by global producers, following on from the output freeze initiative, is quite unlikely and would be months away, OPEC sources said, suggesting any additional action to boost prices is remote. The freeze plan - to be discussed by OPEC and non-members such as Russia on Sunday in Doha - has helped oil prices to rise over 60 percent from a 12-year low near $27 a barrel in January, despite doubts whether it is enough to tackle a supply glut. click here.

 Apr 15 - POLL-Iran to modestly boost oil supply, delaying market rebalance
Iran's oil production will rise only modestly this year and next, but it will be enough to stop global crude supply and demand from rebalancing in 2016, according to a Reuters poll of oil analysts' forecasts. The world's biggest oil producers from both within and outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), including Saudi Arabia and Russia, meet in Doha on Sunday to discuss a proposed output freeze at January's levels. click here.

 Apr 15 - Brent futures point to oil market rebalancing: Kemp
The structure of Brent futures prices shows most market participants believe the oil market will begin to rebalance in the second half of 2016 and through 2017. Prominent oil analysts continue to warn the recent rise in prices is premature and risks postponing the additional production cuts needed to force supply and demand back into balance. click here.

 Apr 15 - IEA expects limited impact from oil output freeze at Doha
A deal to freeze oil production by OPEC and non-OPEC producers will have a limited impact on global supply and markets are unlikely to rebalance before 2017, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. The IEA, which oversees the energy policies of industrialised nations, said even though the decline in U.S. output was gathering pace and Iran was not adding as many barrels as expected, the world would still produce more oil than it consumes throughout 2016. click here.

 Apr 15 - Oil traders lose faith in recent rally, position for lower prices
Oil traders have ramped up their bets in the futures and options market that April's rally will run out of steam, as the outlook for demand weakens and with few clear signs of an end in sight to a supply glut. While prices for front-month delivery Brent crude futures rallied by as much as 20 percent this month, sparking hopes of an end to a rout that had previously pulled the market down by as much as 70 percent since 2014, data for contracts for later delivery looks much weaker. click here.

Apr 14 - Oil investors load up on near-month Brent amid tightening supplies
Oil investors are piling into front month Brent crude, pushing it to a rare premium over forward prices as they bet on tightening supplies due to demand from Korea, loading delays in Iraq, and North Sea maintenance. “The market is in the process of realizing that there’s a change in the fundamentals this year," said Ann-Louise Hittle, lead oil market analyst at Wood MacKenzie. click here.

 Apr 14 - OPEC cuts 2016 oil demand growth forecast, warns of more
OPEC on Wednesday cut its forecast for global oil demand growth in 2016 and warned of further reductions citing concern about Latin America and China, pointing to a larger supply surplus this year. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said top exporter Saudi Arabia kept output steady in March - a sign Riyadh is serious about a plan to be discussed this weekend to freeze output and support prices - while OPEC supply overall rose only slightly. click here.

 Apr 14 - Arabia sees record oil and gas drilling as rest of world slumps: Kemp
A record number of rigs are drilling for oil and gas on the Arabian peninsula even as drilling in the rest of the world tumbles in response to low prices. There were almost 290 rigs active in Saudi Arabia and the neighbouring states of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Oman in March, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes. click here.

 Apr 14 - Russia's Novak expects loosely-framed deal on output in Doha- sources
Russian oil minister Alexander Novak told a closed-door briefing that a deal on an oil output freeze scheduled to be signed this month in Doha will be loosely-framed with few detailed commitments, two people present at the briefing told Reuters. The world's top oil producers will convene in the Qatari capital on Sunday to cement a deal to cap oil output in order to prop up weak prices, which have hurt their economies. The prospect of a deal has lifted oil prices. click here.

Apr 13 - Band plays on, as global oil glut leaves supertankers in a huge jam
It may be the world's biggest traffic jam. As ports struggle to cope with a global oil glut, huge queues of supertankers have formed in some of the world's busiest sea lanes, where some 200 million barrels of crude lies waiting to be loaded or delivered. click here.

 Apr 13 - Oil on best footing since rout began after piercing 200-day MA
Oil's rally to four-month highs and through a key long-term resistance on Tuesday has put the beleaguered market on its best technical footing since the worst price rout in a generation started almost two years ago, chartists said. Brent crude and WTI breached the 200-day moving average for the first time since July 2014 as prices jumped to their highest in four months following a report that top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia had agreed to freeze output. click here.

 Apr 13 - Trading houses predict cautious rise in oil prices
Oil prices have probably bottomed out and will rise from now on though the recovery will be slow due to a huge stocks overhang, some of the biggest oil trading executives said on Tuesday. "The downturn in oil markets is behind us ... The trend is now up ... But rebalancing will take time. We will probably continue to build stocks for some time," Torbjorn Tornqvist, the head of Gunvor, told the FT Commodities Summit. click here.

 Apr 13 - Venezuela says U.S. seeking to scuttle OPEC, non-OPEC deal
The United States is seeking to block a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC nations to stabilize oil markets, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday, accusing Washington of applying "war-like" pressure to prevent an agreement. "You can't imagine all the pressure that is coming from Washington to ensure the failure of the efforts we have made during the last year to create a common strategy among OPEC and non-OPEC producers to stabilize the market and prices," Maduro said during his weekly televised broadcast. click here.

Apr 12 - Platts to start Japan waterborne oil product price assessments
Platts will launch new daily domestic Japanese waterborne price assessments for five different oil products, starting April 25, after receiving strong interest from market participants, the oil-pricing agency said on Tuesday.It also intends to publish Japanese rack, or land-based, price assessments for the products later in 2016, following a period of consultation with market participants, it said in a statement. click here.

 Apr 12 - Shell CEO says may sell some North Sea assets to improve portfolio
Royal Dutch Shell could sell some of its older, lower grade North Sea assets to improve the quality of its portfolio, CEO Ben van Beurden said on Tuesday, part of a two-year programme to help finance its purchase of gas major BG Group. After completing the $52 billion acquisition of BG in February, Shell said it would sell $30 billion in assets between 2016 and 2018 to help finance the deal and to maintain its dividend following a sharp drop in oil prices since mid-2014. click here.

 Apr 12 - Doha oil meet may not deliver 'bullish surprise' - Goldman Sachs
The Doha oil producers meet on April 17 is not expected to deliver a bullish surprise, Goldman Sachs said in a report on Monday.The meet will include members from both Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers.A production freeze at recent levels will not haste. click here.

 Apr 12 - Is U.S. gasoline consumption overstated and if so by how much? Kemp
Strong growth in U.S. gasoline consumption has been one of the most important factors supporting oil prices in 2016, but some analysts question whether the official data is overstating the strength of gasoline demand. U.S. gasoline consumption has been running at a record seasonal rate since February, according to weekly data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) in its “Weekly Petroleum Status Report” (WPSR). click here.

Apr 11 - US shale oil firms feel credit squeeze as banks grow cautious
Nearly two years into an epic oil rout, U.S. shale drillers that have upended global energy markets are finally feeling a credit squeeze as banks make their biggest cuts yet to their loans. Every six months, oil and gas producers and their banks negotiate how much credit they should be given based on the value of their reserves in the ground. click here.

 Apr 11 - Iran exporting 350,000 bpd oil to India, hopes for more - Shana
Iran is exporting around 350,000 barrels of crude oil a day to India and hopes to increase this number, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying on Saturday after meeting Indian counterpart Dharmendra Pradhan.The Shana news agency, linked to Iran's oil ministry, quoted Zanganeh as saying Indian oil purchases from Iran were at 350,000 barrels a day, and that "we hope this number will increase now that sanctions have been lifted". click here.

 Apr 11 - Russian energy minister says hopes for output deal at Doha talks
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak hopes leading oil producers will agree to freeze output at a meeting in Doha on April 17, he said on Friday, which should help the global oil market to rebalance. Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar agreed in February to freeze production at January levels, but said at the time the deal was contingent on other producers joining in. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

 Apr 11 - Worst yet to come for diesel, casting refinery profits in doubt
Oil refineries are shifting into high gear to produce as much gasoline as possible for the world's fuel-hungry drivers - kicking the problem of a worsening diesel glut further down the road.The "margin" or profit derived from refining crude into diesel has plunged in Europe, hitting multi-year lows this week as demand for the fuel - used heavily for heating in the Northern Hemisphere - wilts towards the end of winter. click here.

 Apr 11 - Hedge funds dump bullish U.S. oil bets just before price rally
Money managers slashed their bullish exposure in U.S. crude by the most in three months ahead of a sharp oil price rally this week, trade data showed on Friday. The managers of hedge funds and other investment firms that speculate on oil cut their net longs in U.S. crude options and futures by 21,831 contracts to 177,504 for the week ended Tuesday, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Apr 08 - China teapot refiner oil buying spree creates tanker jam at Qingdao
A surge in oil buying by China's newest crude importers has created delays of up to a month for vessels to offload cargoes at Qingdao port, imposing costly fees and complicating efforts to sell to the world's hottest new buyers. China's independent refiners, freed of government constraints after securing permission to import just last year, have gorged on plentiful low-cost crude in 2016. This has created delays for tankers that have quadrupled to between 20 to 30 days at Qingdao port in Shandong province, the key import hub for the plants, known as teapots, according to port agents and ship-tracking data. click here.

 Apr 08 - Iran says determined to regain oil market share
Iran's foreign minister said on Thursday that Tehran was determined to regain its share of the oil market after sanctions imposed on the country were lifted under a deal reached with six major powers, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported. "Iran wants to regain its place on the oil market ... in cooperation with other oil producing countries," Mohammad Javad Zarif said after a meeting in Baku with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Azerbaijan Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov. click here.

 Apr 08 - Fire at Exxon refinery sends plume of smoke over Houston
A fire erupted at Exxon Mobil Corp's Baytown, Texas, refinery on Thursday afternoon, sending a large plume of black smoke into the air that was visible 22 miles (35 km) away in downtown Houston. Exxon said the fire was later extinguished, no workers were injured and output would not be curtailed at the 560,500 barrel per day (bpd) oil refinery, the second-largest in the United States. click here.

 Apr 08 - Nigeria targets sale of 40 percent of new state oil firm -draft bill
Nigeria plans to split state oil company NNPC into two to help ease a planned stake sale and wants to sell at least 40 percent of a newly created National Petroleum Co (NPC) in coming years, according to a draft of a long-awaited oil bill seen by Reuters. The bill envisages the sale of at least 10 percent of NPC over five years and is targeting 40 percent or more over 10 years, as Africa's top oil exporter seeks to fix a cash shortage that is hampering investment at NNPC and end graft. click here.

Apr 07 - Russia sees oil price of $45-$50 per barrel 'acceptable' as it prepares for freeze deal - sources
Russia believes an oil price at $45-$50 per barrel is acceptable to allow the global oil market to balance, as it prepares to meet leading oil producers in Doha later this month, sources familiar with Russian plans said on Wednesday. Leading oil producers plan to meet in Doha on April 17 to cement a preliminary deal reached between Russia, Venezuela, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in February to freeze oil output at levels reached in January, to curb a surplus on the oil market.  click here.

 Apr 07 - OPEC oil output to rise 0.6 mln bpd in 2016, 0.5 mln bpd in 2017 - Goldman Sachs
Oil production by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will rise this year and next, Goldman Sachs said, as the producers' cartel is expected to fail to agree on a coordinated freeze or cut in output. The investment bank said it expects OPEC output to rise by 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016 and 500,000 bpd in 2017. click here.

 Apr 07 - U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly fall from record high; refiners in overdrive
U.S. crude oil inventories unexpectedly fell from record highs last week as refineries continued to hike output and imports fell, while gasoline stocks rose, snapping a six-week decline, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell 4.9 million barrels in the week to April 1, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.2 million barrels. click here.

Apr 06 - Signs point to deal on oil output -Kuwait OPEC official, sources
All signs suggest a meeting of oil-producing countries on April 17 will deliver an agreement to freeze output, Kuwait's OPEC governor and two sources said, suggesting Iran's aim to raise supply will not scupper a deal aimed at supporting prices. The Kuwaiti governor, Nawal Al-Fuzaia, also said in a speech at the country's oil ministry that she expected the oil market to achieve a balance between supply and demand in the second half of this year, leading to higher average prices. click here.

 Apr 06 - Airline hedges fuel rally in later dated oil prices
Big airlines are making waves in the oil market for the first time since prices went into a tailspin nearly two years ago, betting this may be their best chance to lock in cheap jet fuel for years to come, industry and market sources say. A number of airlines moved last week to place significant oil price hedges for 2017, 2018 and even 2019, according to three trading sources familiar with money flows. They declined to specify companies, but said it was the largest flurry of such activity in more than a year. click here.

 Apr 06 - Huge oil tanker traffic jam builds at Iraq's Basra port
A traffic jam of nearly 30 large oil tankers has built up outside the Iraqi port of Basra due to loading delays, with some waiting up to three weeks and costing ship operators around $75,000 a day per vessel. Shippers and port sources said more delays are expected throughout April as the city's facilities struggle to cope with Iraq's soaring crude output. click here.

 Apr 06 - U.S. Justice Dept will sue to stop Halliburton, Baker Hughes merger - source
The U.S. Justice Department will file a lawsuit as soon as this week to stop oilfield services provider Halliburton Co from acquiring smaller rival Baker Hughes Inc, a source familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The antitrust lawsuit could potentially scupper the deal that was first announced in November 2014 to combine the No. 2 and No. 3 oil services companies. Since then, oil prices have fallen by more than 55 percent. click here.

 Apr 06 - Alberta's oil well clean-up plan puts pressure on small producers
Regulations aimed at ensuring tens of thousands of inactive oil and gas wells dotting the Alberta landscape are properly reclaimed could be a death knell for some producers already crippled by weak energy prices. The Alberta Energy Regulator's (AER) updated Licensee Liability Rating (LLR) program came fully into force last August just as oil prices tumbled below $40 a barrel for the first time since 2009. It is already being blamed for helping sink one producer and more could follow, according to industry insiders. click here.

Apr 05 - Oil glut up close: How Cushing copes with full crude tanks
From the air above this small Oklahoma town, the 300 steel oil storage tanks that dot the landscape appear filled to the brim, their floating lids bobbing atop more than 65 millions of barrels of oil. There may be no better place to witness what a world awash in crude looks like, and the 9 square-mile (23.3 square km) complex seems to bear out oil traders' fears that the industry is running out of space to contain a historic supply glut that has hammered prices. Such worries make weekly estimates of Cushing stockpiles from the Energy Information Administration one of the hottest market indicators. These inventories peaked in mid-March and have edged lower since then. click here.

 Apr 05 - Crude output freeze unlikely as Iran wins back Asia market share: Russell
It's not hard to see why Saudi Arabia is reluctant to take the relatively modest step of freezing crude output unless Iran also joins the producer initiative to support oil prices. The Saudis will be looking at the success the Iranians are having in winning back market share in key Asian markets, and will correctly take the view that limiting their own output will merely allow Iran to continue boosting its exports. click here.

 Apr 05 - Oversupply forces rare gasoline storage on ships in Asian waters
At least three European trade houses are keeping gasoline aboard long-range tankers in Asia in an extremely rare move as the market is badly hit by oversupply, traders said on Monday. Some of the traders are unable to discharge the cargoes which came in from Europe to Singapore/Malaysia as onshore tanks in the latter are full to the brim, while others are "floating" volumes in view of the persistent contango market structure. click here.

Apr 04 - Iran oil minister says will keep raising production -Mehr news agency
Iran will continue increasing its oil production and exports until it reaches the market position it enjoyed before the imposition of sanctions, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency as saying. Zanganeh was speaking at the weekend ahead of an April 17 meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers in Doha to discuss a possible output freeze to prop up prices, and his comment appeared to further threaten the prospect of an effective agreement at the meeting. click here.

 Apr 04 - Russian oil output highest in 30 years ahead of Doha meeting
Russia's oil production rose 0.3 percent to 10.91 million barrels per day in March, its highest level in nearly 30 years, raising questions over Moscow's commitment to freeze output ahead of a producers' meeting in Doha later in April. Energy Ministry data on Saturday showed that in tonnes, oil output reached 46.149 million in March versus 43.064 million, or 10.88 million bpd, in February. click here.

 Apr 04 - Libyan oil firm NOC says it will work with new unity govt
Libya's National Oil Corporation said on Saturday it was working with the U.N.-backed unity government, which arrived in Tripoli, to coordinate future oil sales and "put a period of divisions and rivalry behind us". NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla also welcomed the U.N. Security Council's renewal on Thursday of measures to prevent illicit oil exports from Libya, a reference to efforts by Libya's eastern government to sell oil independently. click here.

 Apr 04 - Brexit may scupper Forties crude oil trade to Asia
One of the most popular plays in the oil market could be stymied should Britain vote to leave the European Union in June, which would force South Korea, a major buyer of North Sea oil, to rejig a long-standing trade agreement for crude imports. Under a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the EU that has been in place since 2012, South Korea, Asia's fourth-largest economy, has become one of the world's biggest buyers of North Sea oil, still a signficant source of revenue for the United Kingdom. click here.

 Apr 04 - Hedge funds cut net long in U.S. crude for first time in 6 weeks
Hedge funds and other big speculators have cut their net long position in U.S. crude for the first time in six weeks, government trade data showed on Friday, amid fear the market may have rallied too fast, too soon from 12-year lows. After closing net shorts at a record pace in recent weeks as prices shot from $26 a barrel to above $40, the money managers cut combined net longs in New York and London-traded options and futures of U.S. crude by 15,892 contracts to 199,335 in the week to March 29. click here.

Apr 01 - As US shale drillers suffer, even the bankrupt keep pumping oil
As oil prices nosedived by two-thirds since 2014, a belief took hold in global energy markets that for prices to recover, many U.S. shale producers would first have to falter to allow markets to rebalance. With U.S. oil prices now trading below $40 a barrel, the corporate casualties are already mounting. More than 50 North American oil and gas producers have entered bankruptcy since early 2015, according to a Reuters review of regulatory filings and other data. click here.

 Apr 01 - 'Teapot' refiners help propel China's W. African oil bookings in April
China's loadings of West African crude oil were on track to hit their highest barrel-per-day level in 19 months in April, according to a Reuters survey of shipping fixtures and traders on Thursday. The boost is due to strong demand from the country's independent refiners, known as teapots, as well as a deal between Angola and Sinochem that significantly increased term cargoes heading east from February. click here.

 Apr 01 - POLL-Oil analysts turn cautiously positive but warn rally may fade
Oil analysts have raised their average price forecasts for 2016 for the first time in 10 months, but cautioned that investor sentiment may sour short-term without solid improvement in market fundamentals, a Reuters poll showed. The oil price has risen by about 45 percent from 12-year lows close to $27 a barrel reached in January. click here.

 Apr 01 - U.S. refiners press on despite unbalanced fuel demand: Kemp
Strong growth in consumption of gasoline while demand for other fuels remains more subdued is creating a headache for oil refiners in the United States and around the rest of the world. U.S. refineries are configured to turn just under half of the crude petroleum they process into motor gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). click here.

Mar 31 - OPEC oil output rises in March as Iran, Iraq growth offsets outages
OPEC oil output is rising in March, a Reuters survey found, as higher supply from Iran after the lifting of sanctions and near-record exports from southern Iraq offset maintenance and outages in smaller producers. The survey also found no major change in production in top exporter Saudi Arabia - another sign that Riyadh is serious about freezing output to support prices, which hit a 12-year low near $27 a barrel in January but have since recovered to $40. Producers are meeting on April 17 in Qatar to discuss the plan. click here.

 Mar 31 - China's perfect diesel storm poised to hit Asian fuel market: Russell
Should Asia be bracing itself for a flood of gasoil from China in the second quarter? It would certainly appear that the conditions for a sharp rise in exports of gasoil, the refinery term for middle distillate fuels diesel and kerosene, are in place. click here.

 Mar 31 - Iran can add 500,000 bpd oil supply in a year - IEA chief
Iran is expected to add half a million barrels of oil supply a day within a year from its existing oilfields after the lifting of sanctions against Tehran in January, but developing new fields would take time, the head of the International Energy Agency said on Wednesday. Iran, previously OPEC's second-largest exporter, would need to prove that the investment conditions were profitable to the international investors and also that there was predictability in the markets, Fatih Birol, IEA's executive director told Reuters. click here.

 Mar 31 - U.S. crude oil stockpiles rise less than expected in week - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose less than expected last week as imports fell and refinery runs rose, while gasoline and distillate inventories drew down, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 2.3 million barrels in the week to March 25 to 534.8 million barrels, the seventh week at record high levels, but the build was smaller than analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.3 million barrels. click here.

 Mar 31 - SandRidge eyes bankruptcy, restructuring in U.S. shale bust
SandRidge Energy Inc confirmed on Wednesday it has hired advisers to evaluate options including a bankruptcy filing, in what could be the most high-profile reorganization yet in U.S. shale oil industry. The company, battered by a 60 percent slide in oil prices since mid-2014, said in a regulatory filing there was substantial doubt about its financial viability. click here

Mar 30 - Hedge funds establish near-record bullish bet on rising oil prices: Kemp
Hedge funds and other money managers have amassed a near-record number of bullish bets on increasing oil prices, helping push the main international benchmark well above $40 per barrel. By the close of business on March 22, money managers held a net long position equivalent to almost 579 million barrels in the three largest crude oil futures and options contracts. click here.

 Mar 30 - Kuwait says agrees with Saudi to restart Khafji oilfield
Kuwait has agreed with neighbour Saudi Arabia to resume oil production at the jointly operated Khafji field, the OPEC member state's acting oil minister said on Tuesday, weeks before oil producers are set to agree a global output freeze. Output at the joint Khafji field will be small and introduced gradually, Anas al-Saleh told reporters in the Kuwaiti parliament, without giving the date of the restart or planned production figures. click here.

Mar 29 - China end-Feb commercial fuel stocks at four-year high
China's refined fuel stocks at the end of February rose 17.3 percent from the previous month to their highest level in four years, while commercial crude oil stocks were up 1.1 percent, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Monday. Diesel led the rise with a 38.3-percent increase, to hit its highest level since April 2012, due to reduced industrial and logistics activity over the Lunar New Year period,according to a Xinhua oil and gas newsletter. click here.

Mar 24 - OPEC, Russia oil output freeze deal may be "meaningless" - IEA
A deal among some OPEC producers and Russia to freeze production is perhaps "meaningless" as Saudi Arabia is the only country with the ability to increase output, a senior executive from the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Wednesday. Brent crude futures are up more than 50 percent from a 12-year low near $27 a barrel hit early this year, bouncing back after Russia and OPEC's Saudi Arabia, Venezuela and Qatar struck an agreement last month to keep output at January levels.click here.

 Mar 24 - Platts may soon set premium for Murban crude in Mideast price benchmarks
Global oil pricing agency Platts may soon implement a quality premium for Murban crude deliveries during its daily assessment process of the Dubai and Oman benchmarks for Middle East oil. The move could lead to the first deliveries of the Abu Dhabi flagship crude during the Platts Market on Close (MoC) process. click here.

 Mar 24 - Scramble for oil storage extends, suggesting excess has room to run
Trading houses are betting on oil markets remaining oversupplied for at least two more years even as crude prices stage a recovery driven by early signs of falling production. Traders such as Vitol, Gunvor and Glencore are looking to extend or lock in new leases on storage tanks for crude oil and refined products in key hubs as far out as the end of 2018, sources at storage firms and trading houses say. click here.

 Mar 24 - Nigeria expects oil output freeze at Doha meeting even without Iran
OPEC member Nigeria expects oil producers to agree a supply freeze at a meeting in Doha next month which should stabilise crude prices even if Iran does not join, its petroleum minister said on Wednesday. Qatar has invited OPEC members and major non-OPEC producers to meet on April 17 to agree a freeze following an initial deal in February between Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela and non-OPEC member Russia to hold supply at January levels. click here.

 Mar 24 - Iraq oil exports, OPEC's fastest growing in 2015, hold steady in March
Iraq's oil exports have held steady so far in March, according to loading data and industry sources, halting for now the rapid supply growth that has increased downward pressure on prices. Baghdad has given verbal support to an initiative by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and outside producers to freeze output in an effort to boost prices. Producers are due to meet on April 17 to discuss the plan. click here.

Mar 23 - Scrambling for cover, U.S. shale producers ramp up hedging
Struggling U.S. shale producers have scrambled to sell future output at their fastest pace in about six months in recent weeks, curbing a rebound in prices and potentially prolonging the oil market's worst rout in a generation, traders say. As spot prices of crude rallied almost 60 percent from 12-year lows touched in mid-Feb, turnover in the long-dated oil contracts has soared to record highs, as producers started to lock in prices in the $40s, traders have said. click here.

 Mar 23 - Libya joins Iran in snubbing oil freeze - source
Libya does not plan to attend an April 17 meeting of oil producers about freezing supply to support prices, a Libyan OPEC delegate said on Tuesday, joining fellow OPEC member Iran in snubbing the initiative. The absence of the two OPEC members would limit the impact of any freeze by producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries along with Russia, even though Libya's output has been curtailed for many months by unrest and the chance of it increasing production swiftly is low. click here.

 Mar 23 - Gunvor earnings surge to $1.25 bln on asset sales, trading
Commodity trader Gunvor Group GGL on Tuesday reported a record net profit of $1.25 billion in 2015, boosted by asset sales and stronger earnings from trading and refining. The Swiss-based trader's net profit was $267 million in 2014. click here.

 Mar 23 - Ship insurers plug hole in Iran oil cover left by U.S. sanctions
Ship insurers have stepped in to help plug a shortfall in cover for transporting Iranian oil resulting from the fact that U.S. reinsurers are still restrained by Washington's sanctions, according to officials involved in the initiative. International oil and shipping companies have been eager to boost business with Iran since international sanctions related to its nuclear programme were lifted in January, but securing proper insurance cover has been among the stumbling blocks in recent weeks. click here.

 Mar 23 - Big Corn finds unlikely allies in US biofuel push: carmakers and drivers
U.S. corn producers may have found two unlikely allies in their decade-long battle with big oil to get ethanol into the nation’s fuel stream: automobile manufacturers and American drivers. The auto industry's slow, somewhat grudging acceptance of government policy on renewable fuels and bumper car sales will ultimately challenge the petroleum industry's concept of a "blend wall" - a 10 percent saturation point for ethanol in motor fuel if there is no overhaul in vehicles and at the pump. click here.

Mar 23 - Oil revenues down, Algeria woos energy investors
After a deep slide in oil prices, Algeria's Sonatrach is shifting strategy to offer foreign firms direct negotiations to buy stakes in 20 oil and gas fields in a bid to attract investors and increase output, a source at the state energy company said. The campaign to bring in energy investment comes at a crucial time for the North African OPEC producer as it tackles lower revenues and stagnating production. click here.

 Mar 23 - In oil rout, some US energy bosses were spared the pain
More cash, lower targets and bigger share awards - not all U.S. energy bosses are feeling the full impact of tumbling oil prices in their paychecks. Some oil and gas companies are making it easier for their top managers to meet performance goals or are offering more cash as a prolonged oil slump keeps share prices at lows not seen in five years, filings show.click here.

Mar 22 - OPEC's Badri hopes for positive producer meeting in April, says Iran could join group later
Iran may join other oil producers planning to freeze production to support prices at a later date, OPEC's secretary general said on Monday, since the country is seeking to raise its exports. Producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-members are due to meet on April 17 in Qatar discuss the output freeze. But Iran is seeking to increase exports, following the lifting of Western sanctions in January. click here.

 Mar 22 - Petrobras posts record loss as oil price slump forces writedowns
Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petrobras posted its biggest-ever quarterly loss on Monday after booking a large writedown for oil fields and other assets as oil prices slumped and refinery projects faltered. Petróleo Brasileiro SA, as the company at the epicenter of Brazil's massive corruption scandal is commonly known, had a consolidated net loss of 36.9 billion reais ($10.2 billion) in the fourth quarter, according to a securities filing. click here.

Mar 22 - Ride to the Bottom: US energy workers hit hard by company stock bets
Nearly 15 years since Enron’s collapse decimated the retirement accounts of its employees, hundreds of thousands of U.S. energy workers remain precariously exposed to big, concentrated bets on company stock in their 401(k) retirement plans. The slide in oil prices to their lowest levels in over a decade wiped out several billion dollars of retirement wealth in the energy sector in the past year. The losses may prove temporary for companies that successfully navigate the crisis, but tens of thousands of employees of struggling firms may see much of their nest eggs gone for good. click here.

 Mar 22 - U.S. on track for record summer gasoline demand: Kemp
The United States will probably consume a record amount of gasoline in 2016, passing the previous peak set in 2007, and the prospect is helping lift crude oil prices. Recent data indicates the country is on track for its biggest-ever driving season this summer, which will keep refineries running flat-out turning crude into the motor fuel. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Mar 22 - BP expects flat output at its Azeri oilfields this year
British oil major BP expects flat oil production in 2016 at its Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) oilfields in Azerbaijan, where it plans two rounds of maintenance this year, the company's regional head said. Production at the ACG fields, which account for most of Azerbaijan's oil output and are operated by a consortium led by BP, totalled 31.3 million tonnes last year, down slightly from 31.5 million tonnes in 2014. click here.

Mar 21 - Dreaded 'stealth' supply becomes reality as US drillers turn on 'ducks'
A dreaded scenario for U.S. oil bulls might just be becoming a reality. Some U.S. shale oil producers, including Oasis Petroleum and Pioneer Natural Resources Co, are activating drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) in a reversal in strategy that threatens to bring more crude to a saturated market and dampen any sustained rebound in prices. click here.

Mar 21 - After Motiva split, Saudi Aramco aims to buy more U.S. refineries - sources
Saudi Arabia's national oil company wants to buy more U.S. refining and chemical plants to expand its footprint in the world's largest energy market once the break-up of its joint venture with Royal Dutch Shell Plc is complete, sources said. Ending an often rocky nearly 20-year relationship, Shell  and Saudi Aramco announced on Wednesday plans to break up Motiva Enterprises LLC after almost two decades, dividing its assets and leaving Aramco with one plant, the nation's largest crude oil refinery, in Port Arthur, Texas. click here.

Mar 21 - Petrobras mulls giving up control of fuel distribution unit - sources
Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA is considering selling control of fuel distribution unit BR Distribuidora SA after bidders failed to emerge for a minority stake, two sources with direct knowledge of the plans said on Friday. The oil company is mulling a change in strategy for the unit sale after three of the four bidders that delivered preliminary proposals wanted management rights or a bigger slice of voting stock, said one source, who requested anonymity because details of the plan are private. About 30 companies had initially shown interest in the stake, both sources said. click here.

Mar 21 - Bullish oil bets hit 5-month high ahead of U.S. rig count
Money managers have raised bullish bets on U.S. crude to a five-month high, data showed on Friday, ahead of a report that showed the first rise in domestic oil drilling since December, raising new supply glut worries. Managed money's combined net long position in crude futures and options in New York and London rose by 25 percent to 172,033 contracts during the week to March 15, a weekly report from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. click here.

Mar 21 - India's thirst for gasoline helps spur global oil demand: Kemp
India's gasoline consumption is surging and has become one of the fastest-growing components of global oil demand. With other parts of the global economy struggling, continued growth in gasoline consumption in India, together with the United States and China, has become one of the most important indicators for global oil prices. click here.

Mar 21 - Struggling U.S. oil and gas companies eye rare financing deals
Some cash-strapped U.S. oil and gas companies are considering creating an unusual layer of debt as a way of surviving the rout in oil and gas prices, according to restructuring advisors. Chesapeake Energy Corp for example is considering the strategy to swap some of its roughly $9 billion debt. click here.

Mar 18 - Shell, Aramco U.S. refining breakup lets both pursue ambitious goals
The breakup of Royal Dutch Shell's  and Saudi Aramco's giant U.S. refining joint venture draws a line under an often rocky relationship and allows Aramco to accelerate an ambitious public offering and Shell to push ahead with a large asset sale.The two energy giants' plan to dissolve Motiva Enterprises after a near 20-year partnership leaves both with fully-owned refineries and gas stations in the United States. click here.

Mar 18 - India in driver's seat as fuel demand roars at fastest rate ever
Three hours east of New Delhi, in the village of Piplera, recently married Abhilekh Swami has stopped to refuel his first automobile, a Hyundai hatchback, at an Indian Oil filling station.Late model SUVs and Mercedes also ply the potholed roads and dusty lanes of the small gathering of dwellings in India's most populous state, Uttar Pradesh.click here.

Mar 18 - TransCanada to buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 bln
TransCanada Corp, the company behind the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, said on Thursday it will buy Columbia Pipeline Group for $10.2 billion, creating one of North America's largest regulated natural gas transmission businesses.The deal, valued at $13 billion including debt, comes months after U.S. President Barack Obama blocked the cross-border Keystone XL crude pipeline. His decision was a victory for environmentalists and a blow to TransCanada after a seven-year battle for approval.click here.

Mar 18 - Oil price rise might be wrong but it is not irrational: Kemp
The oil futures curve is flattening as a wave of bullishness washing across the market raises the price of near-dated contracts faster than that of contracts for deferred delivery.Brent for delivery in May 2016 has risen more than $10 per barrel since early February, while prices for delivery in 2017 are up less than $7 over the same period.click here.

Mar 18 - Saudi oil exports rise to 7.835 mln bpd in January - JODI
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in January rose to their highest level in nine months to 7.835 million barrels per day from 7.486 million bpd in December, official data showed on Thursday.The world's largest oil exporter and OPEC heavyweight produced 10.230 million bpd in January, a record high, compared with 10.144 million bpd a month earlier, the data showed. click here.

Mar 17 - Russia's far east oil producers boost Asian sales
The sales team at Sakhalin Energy on Russia's far east still finds Singapore hot, but they're flying in more often these days."We come out three times a year now to visit existing clients and make new connections," said Alexander Tsarev, its general manager of crude oil marketing on a recent visit. "Personal contact is important, especially in a competitive market like this one. You have to be flexible and close to your partners." click here.

 Mar 17 - With or without Iran, oil producers to meet in April on output deal
Oil producers including Gulf OPEC members support holding talks next month on a deal to freeze output even if Iran declines to participate, OPEC sources said, increasing the likelihood of the first global supply deal in 15 years.That a meeting could go ahead with or without Iran indicates a shift in the stance of Gulf oil exporters including Saudi Arabia, who had previously maintained that all major producers should participate in any agreement. click here.

 Mar 17 - Saudi Aramco, Shell plan to break up Motiva, divide up assets
Royal Dutch Shell and Saudi Aramco announced plans on Wednesday to break up Motiva Enterprises LLC in a deal that ends a partnership of nearly two decades and hands control of the biggest U.S. refinery to the Saudi state oil giant.News that the two energy companies will divide assets in their oil refining and marketing joint venture had been expected by many as they navigated an often-frayed relationship where their respective interests sometimes diverged. click here.

Mar 16 - Fooled by oil's false bottom, most US shale firms skipped hedging in Q4
Last October, as U.S. oil prices seemed to be stabilizing around $45 a barrel, some bullish traders chuckled at the notion of U.S. shale firms racing to hedge production at what they thought was the bottom of a 19-month rout.Now, a handful of producers, such as Anadarko Petroleum, which sporadically hedges in large chunks every few quarters, and, surprisingly, natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy, may have the last laugh. click here.

 Mar 16 - Obama administration reverses course on Atlantic oil drilling
The Obama administration reversed course on Tuesday on a proposal to open the southeastern Atlantic coast to drilling as an oil price slump and strong opposition in coastal communities raised doubts about the plan.Besides market and environmental concerns, the U.S. Interior Department said it also based its decision on conflicts with competing commercial and military ocean uses. click here.

 Mar 16 - U.S. oil refiners temper optimism as margins jump, stocks fall
U.S. oil refiners may be on their best footing in more than half a year, after a bumper drawdown in gasoline inventories spurred the biggest boost to profit margins in months and fueled hopes of resurgent demand ahead of the summer driving season.But executives at some of the top U.S. independent refiners and analysts are tempering any early optimism that times will be as good as last year as oversupply and slower economic growth threaten to dent margins well into 2017. click here.

 Mar 16 - Private equity emerges as lender of last resort for U.S. energy firms
U.S. energy companies facing a likely cut in their bank loans are seeking a costly alternative - borrowing from private equity firms at hefty interest rates to stay alive for longer.In a sign of the times, U.S. oil and gas producer Clayton Williams Energy Inc said this month it was borrowing $350 million from private equity firm Ares Management LP to replace an equivalent loan from a group of banks. click here.

 Mar 16 - Russia prepares for Bashneft, Alrosa and VTB stake sales
The Russian government has set the wheels in motion for the sale of state stakes in mid-sized oil producer Bashneft, diamond producer Alrosa and state bank VTB, four financial sources told Reuters.Under pressure from low oil prices, the cornerstone of the Russian economy, the government has been looking for new revenue sources to prevent its budget deficit rising above 3 percent of gross domestic product this year. click here.

Mar 15 - OPEC sees lower 2016 demand for its oil, pointing to higher surplus
OPEC on Monday predicted global demand for its crude oil will be less than previously thought in 2016 as supply from rivals proves more resilient to low prices, increasing the excess supply on the market this year.The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries contrasts with that of the International Energy Agency, which on Friday said producers outside OPEC were cutting production by more than it had expected. click here.

 Mar 15 - Russia eyes global deal on oil output in April, Iran seen exempt
A global deal to freeze oil production could be signed in April and exclude Iran, which has the right to boost output after years of sanctions, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said on Monday after talks in Tehran.Oil fell around 3 percent on Monday after Iran dampened hopes of a coordinated stabilisation of production any time soon, saying it would join such discussions after its own output had reached 4 million barrels per day (bpd). click here

 Mar 15 - Saudi oil output steady in Feb after preliminary freeze deal
Saudi Arabia kept its crude oil production steady in February, pumping 10.22 million barrels per day (bpd), an industry source told Reuters on Monday, after the top oil exporter struck a preliminary deal with other producers to freeze output.OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC member Russia, the world's two largest oil exporters, along with Qatar and Venezuela said last month they would freeze output at January levels to prop up prices if other oil-producing nations agreed to join the first global oil pact in 15 years. click here.

 Mar 15 - Growing Chinese debt leaves Angola with little spare oil
Angola has found itself with a dwindling amount of crude to sell as more of its oil flows to China for debt repayment, leaving little revenue for anything from oil sector development to health care in one of Africa's largest oil exporting nations.Following a trend also seen in Iraq, Kazakhstan, Russia and Venezuela, Angola has tied up more of its output in pre-financed deals to bridge a drop in income due to the 70 percent fall in oil prices in the past 18 months. click here.

Mar 14 - Iran set to join oil freeze talks after output at 4 mbpd - ISNA
Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Iran would join discussions between other producers about a possible freeze of oil production after its own output reached four million barrels per day (bpd), Iran's ISNA news agency reported on Sunday.Zanganeh said Iran saw $70 per barrel as a suitable oil price, but would be satisfied with less, ISNA reported. click here.

 Mar 14 - Turning to frack tech, stricken U.S. oil drillers test new limits
Fifty-stage frack jobs. Fifteen-foot cluster spacing. More than 2,000 pounds of proppant concentrate per foot.Top U.S. shale producers are pushing fracking technology to new extremes to get more oil out of their wells, as they weather lower-for-longer oil prices.  click here.

 Mar 14 - Fund amass bullish oil bets for 3rd week as "bottom" emerges
Money managers and hedge funds raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil for a third week in a row, data showed on Friday, on conviction the market has bottomed after a near two-year selloff with prices now headed toward $40 a barrel.The speculators raised their combined net long position in crude futures and options in New York and London by 35 percent during the week ended March 8, according to data by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). click here.

 Mar 14 - IEA says oil may have bottomed as non-OPEC producers cut output
Oil prices might have bottomed as production declines in the United States and other non-OPEC producers accelerate and an increase in Iranian supply has been less than dramatic, the International Energy Agency said on Friday.After a spectacular 2015, growth in global demand was slowing - with India and the Middle East being rare pockets of improvement, the IEA said in a monthly report. click here.

 Mar 14 - Record U.S. stock build could drag oil prices sharply lower -Goldman
Oil prices could fall sharply in coming weeks with record U.S. inventory builds offsetting production declines in the country, Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients on Friday."Current U.S. inventory builds are setting new record highs for storage utilization and we expect these builds to continue through April," the bank said. click here.

 Mar 14 - Italy's Eni begins output at world's most northerly producing oilfield
Italian firm Eni began producing oil from its Goliat field in the Norwegian Arctic late on Saturday, making it the world's most northerly oilfield in production."It started last night," said an Eni spokesman on Sunday. "We have reached an important milestone not only for Eni, but also for the industry and for Norway."The start-up of the field has been delayed several times since the initial planned date of 2012. click here.

Mar 11 - Iran says it will freeze oil production only after regaining market share
Iran must regain its share of the global oil market before it will participate in any agreement among oil producing countries to restrict supply, the chief of staff to President Hassan Rouhani said on Thursday.A collapse in the price of oil since mid-2014 has led some big exporters to suggest an output freeze, but Iran is focused on increasing supply following the lifting of international sanctions earlier this year. click here.

 Mar 11 - Oil under threat from stealthily building gasoline stocks
Gasoline stocks building on both sides of the Atlantic could undercut a sustained recovery in oil prices, as crude's 30 percent rise in the last month is partly based on hopes that drivers will gobble up most global inventories of the fuel.Strong margins on gasoline have helped European refiners such as BP, Shell and Total weather an 18-month slide in oil prices and they expect gasoline demand, mostly in the United States and China, to boost profits this year too. click here.

 Mar 11 - Producers sell off future output, wary of recent oil price jump
Producers have been locking in recent gains across the crude futures price structure, selling forward contracts and potentially undermining further recovery because they do not trust a jump in front-month oil since January.Front-month benchmark Brent crude futures have surged more than 40 percent from 12-year lows hit early this year and are now back above $40 a barrel. click here.

 Mar 11 - Indian firms plan to sign oil deals with Rosneft next week - sources
India plans to sign energy deals with Russian oil major Rosneft next week to buy stakes in Siberian fields, two sources privy to the deal said, as New Delhi accelerates a push to secure overseas energy assets.India, the world's third biggest oil importer, has to ship in three quarters of its oil needs and a substantial fall in oil prices has added an extra incentive to seal purchases of assets that are now relatively cheap to limit its reliance on imports. click here.

 Mar 11 - Global freight is sluggish and downside risks have increased: Kemp
Global distillate markets remain heavily oversupplied but the glut will not clear unless the world economy avoids recession and there is a renewed acceleration in freight demand.Recent data have been mixed. The consumer side of the U.S. economy appears to be strong but the industrial side is still struggling, and in the rest of the world growth appears to be slowing. click here.

Mar 10 - LatAm oil producer meeting postponed due to scheduling difficulties
A meeting between Latin American oil producers to unify the region in backing an output freeze or other measures to bolster prices has been postponed from Friday due to scheduling difficulties, Ecuador's oil minister said.The gathering was expected to come ahead of a possible meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC producers in Russia later this month, but the minister said it would be unlikely until around month-end. click here.

 Mar 10 - Brent contango is hard to square with missing barrels: Kemp
Commodity traders and academic economists agree there is a close relationship between stock levels and the strip of futures prices. Holbrook Working of Stanford University’s Food Research Institute explained the relationship between stocks and the futures price curve over 80 years go (“Price relations between July and September wheat futures” 1933). click here.

 Mar 10 - Forget fracking. Choking and lifting are latest efforts to stem U.S. shale bust
Something is awry in the beleaguered U.S. shale patch: older wells, which normally gush oil or natural gas in their first few months before rapidly depleting, are not petering out as quickly as they should.When oil prices began falling a year and a half ago in the deepest rout in a generation, many analysts expected U.S. crude production, especially from fracking in the new shale plays that contributed to a global supply glut, to follow quickly. click here.

 Mar 10 - U.S. crude stockpiles rise to record for 4th straight week - EIA
U.S. crude stockpiles last week rose to a record high for a fourth straight week even as distillate and gasoline inventories fell significantly more than expected, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 3.9 million barrels in the week to March 4, inline with analysts' expectations, hitting an all-time high of 521.9 million barrels. click here.

Mar 09 - Low commodity prices drive 2016 defaults, oilfields to shut
Commodity prices at multi-year lows drove a rise in defaults early this year, and the oil sector could see still more unprofitable fields shut, industry analysts said on Wednesday.Debt defaults in the commodity sectors rose in the first two months of 2016 from the same period a year ago, credit ratings agency Moody's said. click here.

 Mar 09 - Noble Group seeks $2.5 bln in borrowing base facility - sources
Global energy firm Noble Group is in the market with a $2.5 billion, one-year borrowing base revolving credit facility that will refinance existing debt due later this year, banking sources told Thomson Reuters LPC. The renewal of Noble loans is eagerly watched by the market as the most important development this year for the embattled trader of commodities from iron ore to oil, which suffered a dip in investor confidence over the past year. click here.

 Mar 09 - Where has the oil gone? Missing barrels and market rebalancing: Kemp
Global oil production exceeded consumption by just over 1 billion barrels in 2014/15, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).Production exceeded consumption by an average of 0.9 million barrels per day in 2014 and 2.0 million bpd in 2015. click here.

 Mar 09 - Encana exploring sale of $1 bln in non-core assets - sources
Canadian oil and natural gas producer Encana Corp, looking to further trim its debt load, is exploring the sale of more non-core assets in the United States and Canada that could be worth about $1 billion, two sources familiar with the matter said.The move would help Calgary-based Encana, which recently cut its 2016 capital spending forecast to less than half of its 2015 expenditure, to further pare the roughly $5.4 billion it has in fixed and revolving debt, said the sources, who asked not to be named as the discussions are not public. click here.

 Mar 09 - Eyeing oil price rise, Chevron to boost Permian rig count
Chevron Corp will add two drilling rigs to the oil-rich Permian shale of West Texas in 2016, part of a bet that crude prices will rise this year from near 10-year lows.The spending increase - under which Chevron plans to run seven Permian rigs, up from five now - comes even as the company and its peers slash spending but aim to keep low-cost, high-return areas viable in case oil prices rebound. click here.

 Mar 09 - Kuwait says will commit to oil freeze if major producers take part
Kuwait will commit to a potential global oil production freeze if major oil producers, including Iran, also agree to join the pact, the Gulf OPEC member's acting oil minister said on Tuesday.OPEC leader Saudi Arabia and non-OPEC producer Russia, the world's two largest oil exporters, said last month they would freeze output at January levels to prop up prices if other nations agreed to join the first global oil pact in 15 years. click here.

Mar 08 - China crude import demand may slow after oil rises above $40/bbl - trade
A rise in the price of global benchmark Brent crude above $40 a barrel could slow down shipments to China in the second quarter, after imports hit a record in February, trade sources said on Tuesday.Crude imports by the world's second-largest oil consumer have been supported by low prices that have driven stockpiling, as well as buying by a new group of Chinese refiners who have received import quotas over the past nine months. click here.

 Mar 08 - Idle pipeline almost halves north Iraq February oil exports
Oil exports from northern Iraq nearly halved in February due to the ongoing outage of a pipeline to Turkey, wiping $350 million off the cash-strapped Kurdistan region's revenues as it battles Islamic State.The autonomous region of Iraq is almost entirely dependent on revenue from its exports through the oil pipeline to Turkey, which has been idle for nearly three weeks, reducing flows to an average of 350,067 barrels per day (bpd) last month. click here.

 Mar 08 - Oil rout over, OPEC aims for $50 anchor, says PIRA's Ross
Major OPEC producers are privately starting to talk about a new oil price equilibrium of $50 a barrel, adding to signs that the market's long, deep rout is officially over, says one of the industry's leading prognosticators.Gary Ross, the founder, executive chairman and chief oil soothsayer at New York-based consultancy PIRA, told clients 2-1/2 weeks ago that he reckoned the "lows are in" for crude, which was then about $30 a barrel. U.S. futures have rallied since then to close at nearly $36 on Friday, with a handful of analysts also cautiously calling a bottom. click here.

 Mar 08 - Iran raises April oil prices for Europe, Asia - source
OPEC member Iran has raised its official April selling prices for most of its crude oil grades for Europe and Asia, except for the Mediterranean, where prices fell slightly, an industry source with knowledge of the matter said.OPEC's third largest oil producer had been expected to raise the April price for Asian buyers to the widest differential to a similar Saudi grade since 2011, in anticipation of higher demand for its oil since the lifting of international sanctions in January. click here.

 Mar 08 - Statoil lures China's teapots with offers to deliver African oil
Norwegian oil company Statoil has changed the way it is offering several cargoes of its West African crude oil in what traders said is a bid to win business from China's newest oil importers - teapot refineries.Statoil is offering three supertankers that can each carry up to 2 million barrels of West African crude for delivery to the Chinese port of Qingdao in May, according to other oil traders. The region's crudes are typically sold on what is known as a free-on-board basis, where a buyer takes possession of the crude close to the production area after obtaining its own vessel. click here.

Mar 07 - China sets cap for energy consumption for first time
China aims to keep energy consumption within 5 billion tonnes of standard coal equivalent by 2020, it said in its five-year plan published on Saturday, marking the first time the world's second-biggest economy has set such a target.China has long been considering an energy consumption cap in a bid to improve industrial efficiency, tackle smog and control greenhouse gas emissions, which are the highest in the world. Beijing is also pushing structural reforms to decouple economic growth from energy consumption. click here.

 Mar 07 - Wall St vets battle BP in fallout over Canada refinery
A legal battle between a team of former Wall Street oil traders and behemoth producer BP plc over a remote Canadian refinery sheds rare light on the murky world of crude trading.The first salvo in the previously unreported dispute was fired by BP in December. The oil company demanded, through arbitration, $110 million from the private equity-backed NARL Refining for its alleged failure to properly manage and maximize profits from the Come-by-Chance plant in Newfoundland. click here.

 Mar 07 - Speculators most bullish on U.S. crude oil since Nov - CFTC
Money managers and hedge funds raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil prices to the highest since November in the week to March 1, according to government data on Friday, as investors speculated the worst of the 20-month price rout could be over.The speculator group raised its combined futures and options position in New York and London for a second straight week, adding 39,156 contracts to 102,331, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said. click here.

 Mar 07 - More oil industry spending cuts to hit production outlook -IEA
The oil industry cut investment spending by more than $100 billion last year and another round of major cuts this year is expected to hit the production outlook, the International Energy Agency's chief economist said on Friday.Laszlo Varro told Reuters in Budapest that in the next five years, oil demand was expected to rise by 1.2 million barrels per day on average and even though Chinese oil demand growth was slowing it was "still a sizeable oil demand growth". click here.

Mar 04 - Facing record oversupply, U.S. oil looks for a home in Europe
As U.S. oil inventories reach all-time highs, cargoes of crude are increasingly flowing towards Europe, where higher prices and lower shipping costs have made the region an attractive hunting ground for those selling light sweet oil. Sources told Reuters at least three cargoes of U.S. crude that are likely to cross the Atlantic from the U.S. Gulf Coast in the coming few weeks. click here.

 Mar 04 - U.S. refiner biofuels costs top $1 bln, nearing 2013 record
U.S. oil refiners paid more than $1 billion to comply with rules to produce more ethanol-infused gasoline last year, the most in two years, according to filings that will likely intensify the debate over who should foot the bill for the nation's biofuels program. Eleven companies, including Valero Energy Corp and Marathon Petroleum Corp, shelled out $1.27 billion last year for credits, known as Renewable Identification Numbers or RINs, as they raced to stock up on paper credits to meet ethanol quotas set by the government after years of delays, according to securities filings reviewed by Reuters. click here.

 Mar 04 - Kuwait refines oil pricing in battle for European customers
Gulf OPEC member Kuwait has changed the way it prices oil for Europe, trading sources said, in a rare tactical move aimed at making its crude more competitive as the battle for customers between OPEC and non-OPEC rivals intensifies. The European market, long dominated by Russian oil supplies, has been neglected by major OPEC producers due to poor growth as they focused on expanding Asian markets. click here.

 Mar 04 - Iran hopes to raise March oil exports on higher European sales – sources
Iran, OPEC's No. 3 producer, is expected to raise its oil exports in March to around 1.65 million barrels per day from 1.5 million bpd a month earlier on the back of higher crude shipments to Europe, two industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. State-run National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC) is expected to ship around 250,000-300,000 bpd to Europe this month after it finalised term deals with France's Total and Spanish refiner Cepsa, effective from March 1, said the sources, who are familiar with Iran's exports. click here.

 Mar 04 - Nigeria says producers to meet in Moscow, sees dramatic impact
Some members of OPEC plan to meet other oil producers in Russia around March 20 for new talks on an oil output freeze, Nigeria's petroleum minister said on Thursday, forecasting the meeting would spark a dramatic reaction in crude prices. Nigeria has been pushing for action by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries because the slump in oil revenue has undercut its public finances and currency, leaving the government struggling to pay civil servants. click here.

 Mar 04 - U.S. refiners struggle to export surplus distillate fuel oil: Kemp
U.S. exports of distillate fuel oil have been basically flat since 2013, ending years of strong growth, as U.S. refiners face stiff competition from big new refineries in Asia and the Middle East and sluggish demand. U.S. distillate exports increased at a compound annual rate of just 2.3 percent in 2014/15 down from a compound annual rate of nearly 30 percent between 2004 and 2013. Exports amounted to 1.19 million barrels per day in 2015, little changed from 1.13 million in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. click here.

Mar 03 - Asia to see first gasoline squeeze in more than 15 years
Cheap oil and strong car sales are driving demand growth for gasoline across Asia, threatening to open up the region's first shortage for the motor fuel in more than 15 years. Car sales are soaring in China and India, where a combined 3 million new cars come to market every month, while refineries are shutting down in Australia and Taiwan. That is expected to open an average annual deficit this year in Asia of 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline that could widen to 90,000 barrels bpd by 2017, consultancy FGE said. click here.

 Mar 03 - Saudi price rise for Asia suggests tentative oil recovery: Russell
Saudi Arabia's decision to raise oil prices to its main customers in Asia may just be another sign that crude markets are indeed on the road to recovery. The world's biggest oil exporter lifted the official selling price (OSP) of its benchmark Arab Light crude by 25 cents a barrel for cargoes loading in April. click here.

 Mar 03 - Putin says Russian oil producers agreed to freeze output in 2016
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that domestic oil producers have agreed to keep this year's oil output in line with January levels, the first time he had given his view in public on a production freeze. "On the whole, an agreement was reached that we will keep (2016) oil output at the January level," Putin said about the outcome of a gathering he chaired on Tuesday with Russian oil producers in the Kremlin. click here.

 Mar 03 - Vopak aims for strategy above volume, even as oil storage booms
Though the world's oil tanks are filling to the brim, top storage company Vopak said it is sticking with plans to trim its terminal network and focus on tapping into the next point of demand for storage in markets such as gas. The overhang of crude oil and products such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel over the past 18 months led traders to scramble for storage space - boosting lease rates across Europe and increasing occupancy rates for Vopak to 92 percent in 2015. click here.

 Mar 03 - U.S. crude stocks surge to record as distillates, import rise - EIA
U.S. crude stocks last week rose to a record high for a third straight week as distillate inventories increased unexpectedly and imports grew, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. For the biggest weekly build in almost a year, crude inventories rose by 10.4 million barrels to 518 million in the week to Feb. 26. That was almost triple the 3.6 million-barrel increase expected by analysts. click here.

 Mar 03 - Energy pioneer McClendon dies in fiery car crash, a day after indictment
Former Chesapeake Energy Chief Executive Aubrey McClendon, a brash risk-taker who helped transform the U.S. energy industry with shale gas, died when his car slammed into an overpass on Wednesday, one day after being charged with breaking federal antitrust laws, police said. He was 56. click here.

Mar 02 - Russian oil bosses voice support for oil output freeze, not cut
Russian oil companies back the idea to freeze output at near-record levels reached in January, but did not support any proposals to cut oil production to lift global prices, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. Russian President Vladimir Putin met the heads of the country's top producers, including Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, Lukoil CEO and co-owner Vagit Alekperov and others, to hear their views on last month's proposed output freeze. click here.

 Mar 02 - China's teapot oil refiners join forces to bolster crude buying
China's independent oil refiners will form an alliance to purchase crude, in an effort to improve their negotiating stance with suppliers and possibly soothe credit-risk concerns surrounding the little-known companies. Sixteen companies, led by China's biggest private oil refiner Dongming Petrochemical, launched the China Petroleum Purchase Federation of Independent Refineries on Monday, backed by the authorities of eastern Shandong province, the hub of China's smaller, private refineries nicknamed "teapots". click here.

 Mar 02 - Iran says oil exports still constrained post-sanctions
Iran still faces constraints on oil exports as buyers are cautious about boosting trade immediately because of banking and ship insurance difficulties, a senior Iranian oil official said, despite seeing a "tangible" rise in shipments this month. Iran emerged from years of economic isolation in January when world powers led by the United States and the European Union lifted crippling sanctions against OPEC's No.3 oil producer in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear ambitions. click here.

 Mar 02 - Petrobras to cut 5-yr investment plan one-fifth to $80 bln - sources
Brazil's Petrobras will slash its five-year investment plan by about one-fifth next month as low oil prices, massive debt and fallout from a corruption scandal hobble its ability to fund offshore projects, two sources helping draft the plan told Reuters. The state-led oil company's capital spending program will fall to about $80 billion in the 2016-20 period, an average of about $16 billion a year, said the sources, who requested anonymity because the plan is not final. click here.

 Mar 02 - Oil prices have bottomed out, but growth will not be sharp - IEA
Global oil prices appear to have bottomed out and are expected to rise through this year as investment cuts help to reduce a supply glut, a senior analyst at the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday. Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 44 cents at $37.01 a barrel at 1304 GMT, the highest in eight weeks. They hit a more than 12-year low of $27.10 on Jan. 20. "Oil prices appear to have bottomed out," Neil Atkinson, the new head of IEA's oil industry and market division, told a seminar in Oslo. click here.

Mar 01 - OPEC watching Iran, Russia, unlikely to cut output in June
OPEC is very unlikely to cut output at its next meeting in June, even if prices remain extremely low, according to OPEC sources and delegates, as it will be too early to say how fast Iranian output is rising. The sources, which include officials from the Middle East, say OPEC countries such as Saudi Arabia also want to test Russia's commitment to freezing output before taking any further steps to stablise prices. click here.

 Mar 01 - At last, US shale firms see output falling, but is it enough?
In a ray of hope for oil bulls, leading U.S. shale producers are at last predicting output declines this year - a long-anticipated turning point for a market reeling from an epic supply surplus. The bad news is that - taken together - the declines they are disclosing to investors appear milder than some analysts have predicted. click here.

 Mar 01 - Hedge funds turn bullish on Brent but not WTI: Kemp
Hedge funds are turning more positive about the outlook for crude oil prices, according to the latest positioning data from regulators and exchanges. Hedge funds and other money managers held a combined net long position in the three main crude oil futures and options contracts amounting to 383 million barrels on Feb. 23. The combined net long position has increased in eight of the last 11 weeks from a recent low of 230 million barrels on Dec. 8. click here.

 Mar 01 - Oil traders beware: El Niño may distort U.S. shale output picture
Oil traders and analysts searching for definitive signs of a pivotal bust in the U.S. shale boom are encountering the unexpected effects of El Niño, a seasonal weather phenomenon that has threatened to distort official production forecasts. This weather pattern has caused extreme conditions, including the warmest Alberta winter in 90 years and bursts of cold in Texas, affecting drillers in unusual ways. click here.

 Mar 01 - Oil to average just over $40 a barrel in 2016
Oil prices will average just over $40 a barrel this year due to subdued demand and the likelihood a tentative agreement by leading producers to freeze output will do little to drain a supply glut, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. The price, which has fallen by 45 percent in the last 12 months, is unlikely to recover much beyond its current levels around $34 a barrel until the second half of the year, when output from producers outside OPEC is expected to decline.  click here.

 Mar 01 - U.S. oil output drops in December, shale states show fall - EIA
U.S. crude oil production fell for a third month in December due to declines in the biggest shale-producing states, suggesting the 19-month price rout has finally taken a toll on output, although the fall was offset by a rise offshore. Production nationwide in December fell 43,000 barrels per day to 9.26 million bpd, the lowest figure since November 2014, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration's petroleum supply monthly report on Monday. click here.

Feb 29 - U.S. shale's message for OPEC: above $40, we are coming back
For leading U.S. shale oil producers, $40 is the new $70. Less than a year ago major shale firms were saying they needed oil above $60 a barrel to produce more; now some say they will settle for far less in deciding whether to crank up output after the worst oil price crash in a generation. Their latest comments highlight the industry's remarkable resilience, but also serve as a warning to rivals and traders: a retreat in U.S. oil production that would help ease global oversupply and let prices recover may prove shorter than some may have expected.  click here.

 Feb 29 - In slump, oil firms turn to labs, data centers for help
In a basement lab of a North Dakota research center, Beth Kurz and an assistant are peering through a scanning electron microscope, studying samples from the state's vast Bakken shale oil formation. Kurz, a hydrogeologist, is part of a team, which looks at using carbon dioxide to coax more oil out of wells that have already been hydraulically fractured, or fracked, in the process of extracting oil from shale rocks. click here.

 Feb 29 - El Nino's end offers ray of hope for the distillate market: Kemp
Britain’s Labour Party adopted the song “Things can only get better” as its campaign anthem for the 1997 general election, expressing the party’s ambitions for governing after 18 years in the wilderness of opposition. Global oil refiners struggling with enormous stocks of distillate fuel oil as a result of a warm winter and the slowdown in world trade may be tempted to share the same sentiment about the winding down of El Nino. click here.

 Feb 29 - Asset sales dominate as U.S. energy sector steers clear of big deals
Distressed asset sales are likely to dominate dealmaking in the U.S. energy industry this year as volatile oil prices put executives off major acquisitions. Normally strong companies buy weaker rivals when crude prices tank. Even though a 20-month slump has pushed oil to decade lows, however, executives have yet to pull the trigger on a new era of consolidation as they fear prices have yet to hit bottom. click here.

Feb 26 - Noble Group flags refinancing on track after first loss in 2 decades
Singapore-listed commodity trader Noble Group expects to refinance its debt ahead of schedule, after reporting its first annual loss in nearly 20 years on Thursday, battered by a $1.2 billion writedown for weak coal prices. Noble, one of the biggest traders of commodities from coal to iron ore to oil, is battling to boost investor confidence after Standard & Poor's and Moody's cut its investment grade ratings to junk in December, following a bruising accounting dispute and weak markets. click here.

 Feb 26 - CERAWEEK-Oil industry sees Paris climate deal as chance to innovate
If a crisis is a terrible thing to waste, the oil industry sees the Paris climate accord not as a death knell, but an opportunity to innovate and even grow. The move is a shrewd one for an industry that has been on the defensive for years on climate issues, constantly fending off attacks that its products have contributed to an unhealthy rise in global temperatures.  click here.

 Feb 26 - Industry group sees no abuse in energy markets; U.S. lawmakers howl
A plan to limit speculation in energy markets will only hurt investors, an industry group told U.S. securities regulators on Thursday, a message that drew a fast rebuke from some lawmakers. "Excessive speculation is not evident in the energy markets," members of the industry-led panel told the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which is contemplating whether oil and gas hedging abuse exists and needs controls. click here.

 Feb 26 - U.S. refiners lose control of distillate stocks: Kemp
According to the U.S. government, there are over 1.3 billion barrels of crude oil and refined products in commercial storage around the United States, an increase of more than 300 million barrels in the last two years. There is a tendency to assume all these barrels of crude and products are "excess" inventories, the result of overproduction, but most of them are held for operational reasons. click here.

Feb 25 - CERAWEEK-Oil refineries' booming profits set to slow this year
Oil refiners are set to enjoy another year of robust profits as feedstock prices remain low, but new plants and slower global growth mean 2016 will not be a boom year.The 70 percent drop in crude oil prices since mid-2014 sparked a worldwide boom in demand last year, as drivers in the United States, China and India bought more cars and took more road trips. Refineries operated at full throttle throughout 2015 and booked the strongest profits in years as demand surged 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd), or more than 2 percent from the previous year.  click here.

 Feb 25 - BP sees end in sight for oil glut, but impact will linger
Strong demand should start to cut into an oil glut around the end of this year, even as new Iranian supplies enter the market and doubts persist over whether major oil producers will reduce output, BP's chief economist said on Wednesday. But a stock overhang could still linger for at least a year. Oil prices dropped to their lowest since 2003 last month under the pressure of a supply surplus of around 1 million barrels per day (bpd). click here.

 Feb 25 - U.S. commodity agency advised to drop plan to limit futures contracts - NYT
The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission's advisory committee has recommend the regulator end its plans to limit the number of futures contracts a trader can hold on certain commodities, including oil and natural gas, the New York Times reported. The CFTC Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee, which largely includes representatives from the energy and trading industries, is to release a report on Thursday saying the regulator should not make the proposed limits final and that it finds "scant evidence" they are necessary, the newspaper said late Wednesday. click here.

 Feb 25 - Shell replaces U.S. chief, splits unconventionals unit
Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. head Marvin Odum will step down after the company abandoned a troubled drilling project offshore Alaska, and the global oil company said on Wednesday it will split up its U.S. shale and Canadian oil sands unit. Stung by a 70 percent slide in crude prices since mid-2014, Shell this month reported its lowest annual income in more than a decade and pledged further cost saving measures. The Anglo-Dutch company said on Wednesday its shale resources unit would become part of the global upstream business led by Andy Brown, and its Athabasca Oil Sands Project and Scotford Upgrader in Canada would be folded into the global downstream unit, headed by John Abbott. click here.

 Feb 25 - U.S. crude stocks at record high, first gasoline draw since Nov. - EIA
U.S. crude oil stocks rose to a second consecutive record high last week as refinery utilization fell, while gasoline inventories fell for the first time since November, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 3.5 million barrels in the week to Feb. 19, slightly more than forecasts for an increase of 3.4 million barrels. click here.

Feb 24 - Saudi's Naimi rules out production cuts; sees 'freeze' expanding
Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said on Tuesday he was confident more nations would join a pact to freeze output at existing levels in talks expected next month, but effectively ruled out production cuts by major crude producers anytime soon. Addressing the annual IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston, Naimi told global energy executives that growing support for the freeze and stronger demand should over time ease a global glut that has pushed oil prices to their lowest levels in more than a decade. click here.

 Feb 24 - Asia's oil markets in upheaval as China, India change the game
Asia's oil markets are being upended as India's and China's refiners overtake once-dominant buyers like Japan and challenge the United States as the world's biggest consumer. The shifts are not only establishing new trade routes but are also challenging the way oil is priced in the region as the new players push for more cash cargoes and fewer long-term deals. click here.

 Feb 24 - CERAWEEK-World's oil bosses eyeing more pain try to look past 2016
The world's top oil executives gathered in Houston this week seem to agree on one thing: this year is set to be so horrible that many skip right to 2017 and beyond to talk about hopes for market rebalancing that so far has eluded the battered industry. In April 2015, the energy sector's biggest annual conference was abuzz with speculation when oil prices might bottom and the idea that prices could hover below $60 for years after tumbling from over $100 seven months earlier was considered a sobering one. click here.

 Feb 24 - OPEC oil output freeze - OK, but at which levels?
When Russia and three OPEC members led by Saudi Arabia agreed a week ago to work on a global deal to freeze oil output, they could not have been more specific about the timeframe from which the freeze would start - January 2016. For most other industries that would be more than enough to set very clear production targets, but not for OPEC with its history of over-producing and the total absence of individual output quotas in recent years. click here.

 Feb 24 - U.S. gasoline demand is critical to oil outlook in 2016: Kemp
U.S. gasoline consumption increased by more than 2.6 percent last year thanks to a combination of lower oil prices and economic growth. In volume terms, consumption rose by around 240,000 barrels per day (bpd), one of the largest increases in the last 40 years, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. click here.

Feb 23 - OPEC sees further action if output 'freeze' deal holds
The world's biggest oil producers may consider "other steps" to eliminate a persistent global oversupply if a recent deal to freeze current output holds firm for several months, the top official of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said on Monday. OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri reiterated the group's readiness to work with non-OPEC producers to tackle a supply glut that has knocked prices to their lowest in over a decade. He told the IHS CERAWeek conference in Houston that the tentative pact to freeze output reached last week between Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela and Qatar was just a start. click here.

 Feb 23 - Shale resurgence to boost U.S. oil output to record high by 2021
Oil production in the United States will reach a record high by 2021 as improved efficiency helps domestic producers combat the low prices that are likely to force hefty output cuts this year and next, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Monday. After an initial dip this year and next, U.S. output is expected to climb to 14.2 million barrels per day (bpd), the IEA said in a medium-term outlook, citing the "free-for-all" nature of today's oil market. click here.

 Feb 23 - Diesel dogfight: Huge China exports dent Asia margins
China's emergence as a major oil product exporter is depressing oil refining margins across Asia as favourable domestic fuel policies encourage Chinese refiners to keep output high and flood regional markets with surplus supplies. The surge in Chinese shipments has been felt the most in the diesel market, where benchmark Asian margins recently slumped to 6-year lows following an almost 80 percent jump in Chinese exports in 2015. click here.

 Feb 23 - Canadian oil sands firms mull once unthinkable: curbing output
With Canadian benchmark crude near record lows, some major oil sands producers are starting to consider slowing output at their huge thermal operations in northern Alberta, a process fraught with technical and financial difficulties. Cutting production is one of the least appealing options for producers who have invested billions of dollars and years of work in carefully-engineered bitumen reservoirs and fear doing permanent damage to sites designed to operate for decades. click here.

 Feb 23 - Oil lobby warns UK output could halve by 2025 if money dries up
British oil and gas production could halve by 2025 if oil companies do not spend enough to squeeze every last drop out the North Sea, industry group Oil and Gas UK warned on Tuesday. Oil and gas companies, including former North Sea heavyweights BP, Shell and Statoil, have slashed their budgets by billions of dollars as they grapple with a 70 percent fall in oil prices. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 22 - CERAWEEK - Veterans of 1980s oil glut say this price slump, too, will last
When Sheikh Ali Khalifa al-Sabah of Kuwait thinks about today's plunging oil prices, his mind drifts back to the mid-1980s, when he was forced to sell some of his country's crude for as little as $5 a barrel. As Kuwait's oil minister at the time, Sheikh Ali had to sell a cargo or two at that price just to keep up cash flow to a country that depended upon oil revenues. "It wasn't because I wanted to; it was because it was the market price," he recalls. "We really had no alternative." click here.

 Feb 22 - As U.S. shale sinks, pipeline fight sends woes downstream
Within weeks, two low-profile legal disputes may determine whether an unprecedented wave of bankruptcies expected to hit U.S. oil and gas producers this year will imperil the $500 billion pipeline sector as well. In the two court fights, U.S. energy producers are trying to use Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to shed long-term contracts with the pipeline operators that gather and process shale gas before it is delivered to consumer markets. click here.

 Feb 22 - Saudi oil minister to face rival U.S. producers as price rout bites
This week, Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi will for the first time face the victims of his decision to keep oil pumps flowing despite a global glut: U.S. shale oil producers struggling to survive the worst price crash in years. While soaring U.S. shale output brought on by the hydraulic fracturing revolution contributed to oversupply, many blame the 70-percent price collapse in the past 20 months primarily on Naimi, seen as the oil market's most influential policymaker.  click here.

 Feb 22 - Oil output freeze deal talks should end by March 1, says Russian minister
Consultations on a preliminary deal between leading oil producers to freeze output should be concluded by March 1 after a group led by Russia and Saudi Arabia reached a common position this week in Doha, Russia's energy minister said. In a television interview aired on Saturday, Alexander Novak also said that the agreement announced on Feb. 16 was weighty enough.  click here.

 Feb 22 - U.S. official doubts success of deal to freeze oil output
A senior U.S. energy official said he doubted the success of a proposal by OPEC and non-OPEC producers to freeze crude oil output in an oversupplied market and boost prices. Oil prices have crashed 70 percent in the past 20 months, driven by near-record production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, mainly Russia. click here.

 Feb 22 - Speculators cut bullish oil bets amid talks on OPEC deal -CFTC
Money managers cut their bullish wagers in U.S. crude in the week to Feb. 16, as the likelihood of a co-ordinated production cut between OPEC and non-OPEC members seemed increasingly remote and volatility gripped the oil market amid rising inventory. The speculator group cut its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 14,582 contracts to 54,696 during the period, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 19 - As 2017 oil rebounds to $45, U.S. drillers begin to hedge anew
U.S. oil producers reeling from an 18-month price rout have cautiously begun hedging future production this week, fearing this may be their best chance yet to lock in a $45 a barrel lifeline for 2017 and beyond. As oil markets rebounded from 12-year lows this week, U.S. shale companies - for the first time in months - started inquiring and placing new hedges for the next few years, according to three market sources familiar with money flows. click here.

 Feb 19 - Activist investors take a beating in energy price rout
Activist investors brave enough to have ventured into the volatile energy sector are paying a heavy price for their courage, stuck with hefty paper losses and no near-term recovery in sight. Corvex Management, Elliott Associates and ValueAct Capital are among the largest and most prominent activist firms that have seen the value of their energy holdings tumble in step with sliding crude prices and remain exposed to the price rout. click here.

 Feb 19 - 'Selfish' oil firms relish new production despite glut
As oil firms scrap dozens of billions worth of mega projects essential for supplies in decades ahead, fresh output from huge fields already being developed is set to weigh for many more months on an oil market struggling to shake off a glut. A collapse in oil prices over the past 20 months to below $30 a barrel has taken a heavy toll on production around the world, reversing spectacular growth in U.S. shale oil and halting plans to develop costly and complex fields deep in oceans or treacherous seas such as the Alaska Arctic. click here.

 Feb 19 - Oil traders like Lukoil share pain of Venezuela's 6,000-pct gas hike
Venezuela's motorists, who have long enjoyed the cheapest gasoline in the world, are not the only ones likely to rue President Nicolas Maduro's decision to raise prices for the first time in almost two decades. Firms including Indian refiner Reliance, Russian oil giant Lukoil and independent traders Trafigura and Noble Group also risk losing out on the billion-dollar-a-year business of supplying costly, high-octane blending components that make up as much as a fifth of the nation's supply. click here.

 Feb 19 - Is Saudi Arabia winning the war against shale? Kemp
Saudi officials insist the kingdom's oil production strategy is not aimed at putting U.S. shale producers out of business, a message that has been repeated to visiting U.S. policymakers. The United States remains the kingdom's most important security partner, and Saudi officials do not want to be seen to be deliberately trying to halt the shale revolution. Rising domestic oil production is important to U.S. policymakers because it has given the United States a greater sense of energy security, and the Saudis remain keen not to offend their most important ally.  click here.

 Feb 19 - U.S. crude, gasoline inventories extend build to record highs - EIA
U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week to new record highs as imports of crude grew and refineries increased output, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Thursday. Crude oil inventories rose 2.1 million barrels in the week to Feb. 12, lower than analysts' expectations for a 3.9 million-barrel build, to a peak of 504.1 million barrels in the third week of hitting record highs in past month. click here.

Feb 18 - Iran offers no action in support of global oil pact
Iran on Wednesday stopped short of offering to restrain oil output as part of a global pact to freeze production to prop up prices, making clear it wants to recapture the market share it lost during years of sanctions. Iran's stance will complicate talks on output levels after a surprise compromise this week between two of the world's top exporters - non-OPEC Russia and the group's leader Saudi Arabia to freeze output at January levels, near their historic highs. click here.

 Feb 18 - Oil market shows deep doubt over output freeze
The oil world has been shaken this week by some of the biggest producers agreeing to freeze their output at January levels to contain a supply glut and prevent a further slide in prices, but markets show investors doubt this tactic will work. Oil ministers of top exporter Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela, together with non-OPEC member Russia, said after meeting in the Qatari capital of Doha on Tuesday they had agreed to keep output unchanged from January, provided other big guns followed suit. click here.

 Feb 18 - Rising diesel demand in South Korea puts brakes on exports
Rising demand for diesel in South Korea is slowing the pace of exports from one of Asia's top shippers of the fuel, offering a rare bright spot in a region where surplus supply has driven down refining margins. Growing sales of diesel cars and increased use by the freight sector have stoked appetite for the fuel in the country, while subsidies to encourage diesel taxis may provide a further boost this year. click here.

 Feb 18 - North Dakota oil output sinks nearly 3 pct as price rout deepens
North Dakota's oil output fell nearly 3 percent in December, the biggest monthly drop in almost a year, the first real sign that the deepening rout in prices took an ever bigger toll on producers in the birthplace of the U.S. shale boom. State regulators said the data showed producers are not expecting prices to rise any time soon, marking a significant shift for operators in the No. 2 U.S. oil producing state. click here.

 Feb 18 - As Cushing oil stocks swell, Total attempts novel export arb
A new avenue for U.S. crude oil exports may be opening up from the heart of Oklahoma, where some traders are running the numbers on an arbitrage route that could alleviate the biggest ever build-up of surplus supplies. Four market sources said Atlantic Trading & Marketing Inc (ATMI), the U.S. trading arm of French oil major Total SA, has in recent days tried to maneuver an export cargo of U.S. crude originating in Cushing, Oklahoma, one of the first such cargoes. click here.

Feb 17 - Oil rout casts doubt on Woodside's key LNG project
Woodside Petroleum reported a halving in its underlying profit on Wednesday, and said deep uncertainy over oil prices was weighing on the prospects for its key growth project, a liquefied natural gas (LNG) development off Western Australia.Australia's biggest oil and gas producer said it was still unclear whether the oil price rout over the past year marked a short-term low or a fundamental shift in the market. click here.

Feb 17 - Hard-pressed energy firms forced to sell assets to private equity
Oil and gas companies under pressure from low crude prices and from the banks that hold their debt are increasingly being forced to sell assets to private equity investors, who have raised billions of dollars to snap up bargains in the sector.Smaller energy companies are under the greatest pressure to sell assets as their revenue dwindles and debt levels rise, including Britain's First Oil Expro and EnQuest, according to industry sources and analysts. click here.

Feb 16 - Oil powers fly to Doha for private pow-wow as $30 crude woes mount
Top oil officials from Saudi Arabia, Russia and several key OPEC members will meet on Tuesday for their highest-level discussion in months, a potentially pivotal sign that producers are at last preparing to tackle a devastating supply glut.The talks in the Qatari capital Doha, which had been kept under wraps until recent days, involve powerful Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and his Russian counterpart Alexander Novak, sources said, two figures who must reach an accord for any coordinated global action to hold any hope of success. click here.

 Feb 16 - Japan oil refinery consolidation ends dominant era in oil markets
Japan, which once consumed about 10 percent of global oil output in its refineries, is undertaking the biggest refining contraction of any country, ending a dominant era in oil markets while exposing itself to fuel imports from neighbours.With four of its five largest refinery companies set to merge, Japan could be left with only 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) of refining capacity by 2020 and as little as 2.3 million bpd by 2030, according to a Reuters analysis based on discussions with industry officials, analysts, government officials and suppliers. Japan may have to rely on fuel imports from China and South Korea, countries with which it shares long-standing historical disputes. click here.

Feb 15 - OPEC members increasingly keen to end oil glut -Nigeria oil minister
The mood inside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is shifting from mistrust to a growing consensus that a decision must be reached on how to end the global oil price rout, Nigeria's oil minister told Reuters.Oil prices have slumped by more than 70 percent to near $30 a barrel over the past 18 months as OPEC, led by top producer Saudi Arabia, sought to drive higher-cost producers out of the market by refusing to cut production despite a supply glut. click here.

 Feb 15 - S.Korea's Jan Iran crude oil imports triple from year before
South Korea's imports of Iranian crude oil tripled in January from a year earlier with the United States lifting sanctions on Tehran, but shipments remain far below pre-sanction levels, customs data showed on Monday.The world's fifth-largest crude importer brought 859,223 tonnes of Iranian crude oil last month, or 203,165 barrels per day (bpd), three times higher than 273,626 tonnes imported a year earlier, the data showed. click here.

 Feb 15 - Russian state's oil asset sale attracts LUKOIL interest
Oil major LUKOIL has told the Russian government it wants to buy smaller rival Bashneft as the state prepares to sell either a controlling or minority stake in the firm to plug a budget deficit, sources told Reuters.The government of President Vladimir Putin has ordered a privatisation drive to cover a yawning hole in its budget, which has been hit by tumbling crude prices and Western sanctions over Moscow's role in the Ukraine conflict. click here.

 Feb 15 - Speculators raise bullish oil bets as volatility reigns -CFTC
Money managers raised their bullish bets on U.S. crude oil in the week to Feb. 9, data showed on Friday, amid increased volatility as the market grappled with uncertainty over possible OPEC output cuts and worries about a growing U.S. glut.The speculator group raised its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 9,046 contracts to 69,275 during the period, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday. click here.

Feb 12 - Venezuela proposes OPEC, non-OPEC producers "freeze" oil supply
Some OPEC countries are trying to achieve a consensus among the group and key non-members for an oil production "freeze", sources familiar with the discussions say, in an attempt to tackle the global glut without cutting supply. Top exporter Saudi Arabia might be warming to the idea, though it was too early to say whether the kingdom would give its blessing because any deal depends mainly on a commitment by Iran‎ to restrict its plan to boost exports, the sources said. The proposal of a production "freeze" at current levels was floated by Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino during his tour of producing countries this month which included Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, they said. click here.

 Feb 12 - As U.S. refinery cuts quicken, crude market faces next threat
For the past six years, U.S. refiners from Texas to Philadelphia have bought every barrel of crude they can lay their hands on to cash in on a golden era of healthy margins. Now, at least five refiners - including two of the country's largest - have voluntarily cut output of gasoline and distillate in the most widespread cuts since the global financial crisis, moves that may deepen crude’s prolonged rout as storage tanks at Cushing, Oklahoma, the main U.S. oil hub, near capacity. click here.

 Feb 12 - Cancellation of Iran oil contracts' presentation signals infighting
Iran's cancellation of a conference when it had been due to unveil investment contracts to international oil firms signals that political feuding is disrupting plans to revive its energy sector. Tehran blamed snags in obtaining British visas for Iranian delegates to the long-delayed conference, which had been scheduled to be held in London on Feb 22-24. However, foreign oil executives say factionalised politics in Iran, where elections will be held later this month, appeared to explain the delay as the country seeks major investment following the lifting of international sanctions last month. click here.

 Feb 12 - Unusually large WTI volumes revive talk producers unwinding hedges
Unusually large volumes in the U.S. crude futures market just before noon on Thursday, amounting to around 8 million barrels of oil, revived speculation among traders that cash-strapped U.S. producers are unwinding hedges amid the crude price rout. Just over 8,000 lots of March West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded electronically at 11:55 a.m. EST (1655 GMT), according to Reuters Eikon data, with electronic and block volumes totalling 11,500 lots. For most of the other minute intervals during the day, volumes ranged from around 1,000 to 2,000 lots, except for large volumes at settlement. click here.

 Feb 12 - Saipem counting the cost of going solo in low oil price world
A plunge in oil prices and little sign of recovery anytime soon have left Italian oil contractor Saipem ill-prepared to cope with life independent from former parent Eni, even after a 3.5 billion euro ($4 billion) fundraising. The much-needed money is essentially in the bank, as the share sale to existing investors is underwritten by a financial consortium and core investors including state fund FSI. click here.

Feb 11 - Russia's Sechin floats idea of oil output cuts
The head of Russian state-run oil company Rosneft on Wednesday floated the idea of a coordinated output cut by major oil-producing countries to prop up sagging prices but fell short of saying whether Moscow would contribute to such a plan. Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, told the IP Week conference in London that the global oil glut was predominantly the fault of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. click here.

 Feb 11 - Oil seen falling in days to $25 a barrel
Crude prices may be days away from hitting $25 a barrel or even lower as weakening technicals put more pressure on a market already staggering from oversupply, chartists said. U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures settled at $27.45 on Wednesday, slightly more than $1 above 12-year lows hit last month. U.K.'s Brent was at $30.84 a barrel, more $3 above its 12-year low of $27.10 hit on Jan. 20. click here.

 Feb 11 - OPEC points to larger oil surplus in 2016, says low prices hurting economy
OPEC pointed to a larger oil supply surplus on the world market this year than previously thought as Saudi Arabia and other members pump more oil, helping to make up for losses in non-member producers hurt by the collapse in prices. The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries indicates supply will exceed demand by 720,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, up from 530,000 bpd implied in the previous report.  click here.

 Feb 11 - U.S. refineries' windfall from cheap crude running out of steam
U.S. refiners' months-long windfall from cheap and plentiful crude showed further signs of running out of steam on Wednesday as a second refinery, Delta Airlines' Monroe Energy, prepared to cut output and another dumped unwanted crude. With companies taking frantic measures to combat declining profits as inventories rocket to fresh record highs and sluggish winter demand hurts profits, traders speculated that further cuts may be on their way. click here.

Feb 10 - Oil traders rush for options to protect against crude gyrations
Oil traders have scrambled to scoop up options as additional protection against wild swings in prices, sending a key index to its highest level since the worst of the global economic crisis in 2008, data shows. To hedge against volatility that has whipsawed oil prices this year, traders have positioned themselves more firmly on both sides of the market. They have jumped into various contracts, including March $25 puts and March $35 calls - which have hit record open interest in recent days. click here.

 Feb 10 - IEA sees global oil glut worsening, OPEC deal unlikely
The world will store unwanted oil for most of 2016 as declines in U.S. output take time and OPEC is unlikely to cut a deal with other producers to reduce ballooning output, the International Energy Agency said. The agency, which coordinates energy policies of industrialised countries, said that while it did not believe oil prices could follow some of the most extreme forecasts and fall to as low as $10 per barrel, it was equally hard to see how they could rise significantly from current levels. click here.

 Feb 10 - Saudi reform efforts wax and wane with oil revenues: Kemp
“The GCC governments and peoples should realise that the boom period is over. We must all get used to a certain type of lifestyle that does not rely entirely on the state,” Saudi Arabia’s ruler warned. “The upcoming period needs the private sector to assume part of the responsibility which has up until now been carried by the state,” he told his fellow leaders from the six Gulf Cooperation Council countries. click here.

 Feb 10 - Valero first U.S. refiner to cut runs in face of low margins
Top U.S. independent refiner Valero Energy Corp will cut gasoline production at its Tennessee refinery by about 25 percent, sources said on Tuesday, making it the first refiner in this downturn to capitulate to record inventories and sluggish winter demand hurting profits. Wholesale gasoline in Midwest markets is already at deep discounts to U.S. gasoline futures selling for less than a dollar a gallon, and traders said it could fall more in some states where pump prices are the cheapest in 12 years. click here.

 Feb 10 - Oil bull Hall's fund down 4 pct in Jan after annual loss in 2015
Closely followed oil bull Andy Hall said his Astenbeck Capital Management lost 4 percent in January as weak global markets extended last year's gloom that cost the hedge fund its biggest- ever annual loss of 36 percent, according to monthly data from the fund. "If 2015 ended badly, then the start of 2016 was even worse," Hall wrote in a monthly investor letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday. click here.

Feb 09 - As North Sea oil flows fall, Platts seeks to revamp Dated Brent
Oil pricing agency Platts is taking new technical steps to protect the Brent benchmark from declining North Sea output, in what could be a first step in radically overhauling the product to eventually include grades from outside the region. Output from the North Sea fields off Britain and Norway has declined steeply in recent years as deposits are mature and among the world's most expensive to develop. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Feb 09 - Goldman Sachs says metals set to underperform oil, cuts price forecasts
Goldman Sachs on Monday said metals, particularly copper and aluminum, are set to underperform oil in the near future on subdued global demand growth and a sluggish Chinese economy. "Around mid-2016 and through 2017, we expect that the oil market will adjust, while metals markets are set to weaken further, particularly copper and aluminum, resulting in substantial downside to metals prices relative to oil over the period," the bank said. click here.

 Feb 09 - U.S. March shale output to fall below 5 mln bpd - EIA
U.S. shale oil production is expected to dip below 5 million barrels per day in March for the first time in 18 months on the back of an oil rout that has slashed prices by more than 70 percent since 2014. Total output in March is set to fall by nearly 93,000 bpd to 4.92 million bpd compared with February, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) drilling productivity report released on Monday. That marked the eighth consecutive month of declines, data showed, and the first time production is below 5 million bpd since September 2014. click here.

Feb 09 - Sheltered from biggest risks, green fuel to ride out oil crash Green power is cheap enough to compete with fossil fuels and will buck the trend of falling investment in oil and gas as it can offer long-term returns sheltered from political risk, investors and industry analysts say. Oil prices have dropped by around 75 percent since mid-2014, leading the International Energy Agency (IEA) to predict a second successive year of falling hydrocarbon investment, marking the most sustained decline since the 1980s. click here. 

Feb 08 - As Big Oil shrinks, boards plot different paths out of crisis
As oil and gas companies cut ever-deeper into the bone to weather their worst downturn in decades, boards have adopted contrasting strategies to lead them out of the crisis. Crude prices have tumbled around 70 percent over the past 18 months to around $35 a barrel, leading to five of the world's top oil companies reporting sharp declines in profits in recent days. click here.

 Feb 08 - Prolonged oil slump sparks second wave of cuts to 2016 budgets
Less than two months into the year, the top U.S. shale oil companies have already cut their budget for 2016 a second time as the relentless drop in oil prices continues to erode their cash flow. With oil prices firmly wedged in the low $30-per-barrel range, oil producers are deferring spending on new wells and projects. click here.

 Feb 08 - Coolheaded algos holding on amid global energy price slide
The wild two-year downtrend in energy prices has been a nice ride for one phlegmatic Swedish hedge fund. While a 60 percent-plus fall in Brent crude has poleaxed markets and revived the spectre of global recession, Stockholm-based Lynx Asset Management is one of a group of computer-driven fund firms which have been quietly cashing in.

 Feb 08 - India's fading oil product exports contrast with China's boom: Russell
One of the dominant themes in Asia's oil products markets is the rise of Chinese fuel exports, so much so that the decline in shipments from India barely gets mentioned. India has in recent years been a fairly major player in Asia's market for refined products, given the presence of plants designed to take advantage of the country's location between producers in the Middle East and consumers in the rest of Asia. click here.

 Feb 08 - Saudi, Venezuela talk of OPEC, non-OPEC cooperation to stabilise oil market - SPA
Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi discussed cooperation between OPEC members and other oil producers to stabilise the global oil market with his Venezuelan counterpart on Sunday, state news agency SPA reported. Venezuela's Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino, who is on a tour of oil producers to lobby for action to prop up prices, said his meeting with Naimi was "productive", his ministry reported. click here.

 Feb 08 - Obama's budget will not lead to $10 oil tax: Kemp
President Barack Obama's final budget will propose a $10 per barrel oil tax, investing the proceeds in mass transit, high-speed rail, urban planning, highway upgrades and self-driving cars, among other programmes. "President Obama's 21st Century Clean Transportation System", outlined by the White House to reporters on Thursday, drew predictable praise from environmental groups and howls of outrage from oil producers. click here.

 Feb 08 - Top independent refiners see cheap gasoline demand growing
The largest U.S. independent refiners are bullish on domestic gasoline demand as super-cheap fuel and the lure of bigger vehicles entice more consumers. Valero Energy Corp and Phillips 66 both say they are in "max gasoline mode," pumping out as much as they can as a mild winter, economic uncertainty and a stinging slump in oil drilling squeezed U.S. diesel demand. click here.

Feb 04 - As energy rout deepens, CME, ICE reap benefit from record volumes
As a deepening panic has swept across world energy markets in recent months, exchange operators have reaped benefits as trading volumes soared. The two largest commodity exchanges, CME Group Inc and IntercontinentalExchange, saw crude oil volumes jump some 40 percent and 14 percent respectively in 2015, recent data showed. click here.

 Feb 04 - Oil bears closing of $600 mln triple-short fund bet seen adding to tumult
This week's roller-coaster ride in the global crude oil market was likely fueled in part by the sudden liquidation of a $600 million leveraged fund bet on falling prices, market sources said on Wednesday. Unknown investors in the VelocityShares 3x Inverse Crude Oil Exchange Traded Note (ETN) - which offers the ability to make a bearish bet on prices magnified threefold, with gut-churning ups and downs - bailed out early this week after jumping into the fund in January, ETN data show. click here.

 Feb 04 - China's teapots will change dynamics of crude supply, trading: Russell
The new entrants to China's crude market will not only boost the amount of oil imported, but are also likely to affect the supply sources and method of delivery. There is little doubt that the granting of increased quotas to smaller, private refineries will increase the amount of crude bought by the world's second-largest importer. But what is less certain is exactly how these new entrants will go about sourcing and delivering the crude they will be able to purchase. click here.

 Feb 04 - U.S. crude, gasoline inventories swell to record highs - EIA
U.S. crude oil and gasoline inventories jumped more than expected last week to record highs, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose 7.8 million barrels in the week to Jan. 29 to 502.7 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 4.8 million barrels, as imports jumped and refiners trimmed throughput. Nationwide, crude stocks hit a record high for the second week in a row while stocks in U.S. Gulf Coast region last week rose to the highest on record since 1990 when the EIA began tracking data. click here.

 Feb 04 - The one thing in Saudi Arabia that works well is under threat
Ask almost any Saudi citizen which institution works best in his country and the answer will be Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil giant. Ask international oilmen what is the best-run national oil company in OPEC and the reply will be the same. Given the company’s exemplary reputation, it is surprising that the Saudi kingdom’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman mentioned his interest in selling off parts of Aramco to private investors in an interview with the Economist published on Jan. 6. The prince’s words carry weight, as he has become the kingdom’s de facto leader in economic and, to an important extent, foreign and security policy. click here.

 Feb 04 - Global oil demand growth is slowing going into 2016: Kemp
The United States was one of the biggest sources of oil demand growth in 2015 but the outlook for 2016 is much more muted, according to official forecasters. The U.S. transportation sector continues to send mixed signals about the strength of fuel demand at the end of 2015 and heading into 2016. click here.

Feb 03 - Russia leaves door open to OPEC deal even as output hits high
Two senior Russian officials talked up potential cooperation with OPEC to prop up prices, but data showed oil production in Russia hit a post-Soviet high in January, suggesting the world's top producer was locked in a fierce struggle for market share. Russia has in the last week sent mixed signals about possible cooperation with OPEC to support prices. It first suggested it should start talking to OPEC before saying there was no decision to do so. click here.

Feb 03 - Exxon slashes spending after smallest profit in years
Exxon Mobil Corp on Tuesday reported its smallest quarterly profit in more than a decade and said it will cut 2016 spending by one-quarter and suspend share repurchases as it copes with a prolonged downturn in crude prices. Shares of the world's largest publicly traded oil company fell as much as 3.6 percent on the New York Stock Exchange as the price of crude slid 4.2 percent. click here.

 Feb 03 - EEX exchange looks beyond freight to steer through dry shipping storm
Cleartrade Exchange is expanding its commodities business, aiming to boost fertiliser and bunker fuel derivatives activity after a lukewarm reception for its dry freight futures, partly due to turmoil in the shipping market, a top official said. Singapore-regulated Cleartrade, 52 percent owned by Deutsche Boerse's EEX, is looking to increase its position in derivatives and other products, such as iron ore, to tap into growing demand for hedging tools in the volatile commodities sector. click here.

Feb 02 - A new global oil deal could draw lessons from 1998
After a year of secret diplomacy and hushed-up private talks around the world, OPEC's mighty Saudi Arabia and rival Venezuela were persuaded to cut a deal by non-OPEC Mexico which overcame mutual acrimony and led to a much-needed rise in oil prices. It was 1998, trust had long broken down within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and it took outside mediation as a last resort to stop the squabbling to clinch deals at secret meetings in Riyadh, Madrid and Miami. click here.

 Feb 02 - Goldman Sachs stays bearish on oil, output cuts "self-defeating"
Goldman Sachs believes cooperation between OPEC producers and Russia to cut oil output would be "highly unlikely" and also self-defeating as stronger prices would bring previously-shelved production back onto the market. The bank, which is forecasting an average price of $45 a barrel for Brent crude oil futures this year, has said repeatedly that it will take a drop towards $20 to rebalance the market and it did not change this view on Monday. click here.

 Feb 02 - Saudi's China challenge: How much can it pay for oil market share: Russell
It's probably no coincidence that Saudi Aramco revealed it is in advanced talks to buy stakes in Chinese refineries just as data came out showing that Russia toppled Saudi Arabia as China's biggest crude provider in December. This was the fourth month this occurred in 2015, underscoring that state-owned Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil exporter, is facing serious competition in maintaining its market share in China, which may overtake the United States as the world's largest crude importer in 2016. click here.

 Feb 02 - Hedge funds trim short positions in oil futures: Kemp
Hedge funds continued to trim their bets on a further fall in oil prices last week as speculation swirled about a coordinated cut in production between Russia and OPEC. The probability of a coordinated cut remains low, according to many analysts, but the speculation has injected more uncertainty and created more of a two-way market in futures prices, replacing the former one-way bet. Hedge funds and other money managers reduced their short positions in the three main WTI and Brent contracts listed on NYMEX and ICE Futures Europe by a combined 29 million barrels. click here.

 Feb 02 - U.S. economy slows sharply as oil and gas slump deepens: Kemp
The U.S. economy eked out anaemic growth in the final three months of 2015, and the struggling performance of the oil and gas sector was a major contributor to the slowdown. Real gross domestic product rose at an annualised rate of 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter, down from 2.0 percent in the third and 3.9 percent in the second, the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reported on Friday. click here.

Feb 01 - Iran pushes OPEC oil output to new high as sanctions are lifted
OPEC oil production has jumped to its highest in recent history in January as Iran increased sales following the lifting of sanctions and its rivals Saudi Arabia and Iraq also boosted supply, a Reuters survey showed on Friday. Rising output in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries further aggravates the market share battle between top global producers. In the past year this has flooded the market with new barrels, creating one of the worst oil gluts in history and helping send prices to a 12-year low. click here.

 Feb 01 - POLL-Oil to average just over $40 in 2016, biggest cut to forecasts in a year
Oil prices will average just over $40 this year, the biggest cut to monthly forecasts in a year, as an influx of Iranian barrels hits an already-saturated world market, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. The survey of 29 economists and analysts forecast benchmark North Sea Brent crude will average $42.5 a barrel, down $10 from last month's poll. click here.

 Feb 01 - Russia cautious on prospects for oil cut deal with OPEC
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich on Friday played down expectations that Russia could coordinate with OPEC to arrest the fall in oil prices by reducing production, saying the state would not intervene to balance the market. Oil prices have jumped in the past 48 hours after Russian energy officials said they had received proposals from OPEC lynchpin Saudi Arabia on managing output, and were ready to talk. click here.

 Feb 01 - How Saudi Arabia successfully defended its U.S. oil market share: Kemp
Saudi Arabia has successfully defended its share of the U.S. oil market even as rising domestic production from shale and growing pipeline imports from Canada have cut seaborne imports from other countries. Saudi crude exports to the United States have remained relatively constant at around 1.2 million barrels per day since 2009, even as tanker arrivals from other countries have halved from 6 million to 3 million bpd. click here.

 Feb 01 - Iraq will cooperate with any production-cutting decisions -oil minister
Iraq's oil minister said on Saturday his country was ready to accept a decision by OPEC and non-OPEC members to cut crude production and was preparing to revive its national oil company, moves aimed at boosting profits amid dropping prices. Cash-trapped Venezuela has called for a meeting in February to discuss steps to prop up global oil prices, which have plunged to 12-year lows around $30 a barrel. click here.

 Feb 01 - Iranian oil output recovering as first cargoes sold to Europe - sources
Iran is on track to raise oil production by 500,000 barrels per day after the lifting of sanctions this month and has already sold 6 supertankers with additional crude to buyers in Europe and Asia, a Iranian oil source said. The source, familiar with export operations, said three supertankers with additional volumes of crude have been sold to buyers in Europe and three to Asian customers for delivery in February. click here.

Jan 29 - Russia says studying proposal for global oil production cuts  
Russia said on Thursday that OPEC had proposed oil production cuts of up to 5 percent in what would be the first global deal in over a decade to help reduce a glut of crude and prop up sinking prices.It remained unclear whether Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was referring to a months old proposal by OPEC members Venezuela and Algeria or a new proposal backed by OPEC leader Saudi Arabia. Saudi officials did not immediately comment on the proposal, and a Gulf OPEC delegate said it came from Venezuela and Algeria. click here.

 Jan 29 - Iran crude exports hit 2-yr high, up more than 20 pct for Jan-Feb
Iran's oil exports are on set to rise more than a fifth in January and February from last year's daily average, data from a source with knowledge of its loading schedules shows, revealing how Tehran is ramping up sales after the lifting of sanctions.The data is the first sign of a resurgence in crude shipments as the OPEC producer begins to raise output and clears out oil that has built up in offshore storage over the past four years of curtailed participation in world markets. click here.

 Jan 29 - Russian oil output cuts: where there's a will there's a way
Russia's oil industry has argued for years that it cannot cut output to support falling global prices for purely technical reasons; in reality it can - as long as it has the political will.The days that oligarchs decided production levels according to their own private interests are long gone. Today the state directly controls roughly half of output, with most of the rest in the hands of business figures who are loyal to President Vladimir Putin, or at least will not oppose his wishes. click here.

 Jan 29 - California drivers send warning to OPEC: Kemp
California’s road traffic in 2014/2015 grew at the fastest two-year rate since 2001/2002, according to the state’s Department of Transportation.OPEC is relying on continued strong growth in driving and fuel demand from the United States and other countries to help rebalance the oil market in 2016 and 2017. click here.

Jan 28 - Russians want to talk to OPEC about output, pipeline chief says    
Russian officials have decided they should talk to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries about output cuts to bolster oil prices, the head of Russia's pipeline monopoly said on Wednesday, remarks that helped spur a sharp rise in world prices.Oil futures surged more than 5 percent after the comments by Nikolai Tokarev, head of oil pipeline monopoly Transneft, which gave the strongest hint yet of possible cooperation between the top non-OPEC oil producer and the cartel to try to reverse a record glut. click here.

Jan 28 - Gasoline cargoes sail to Iran, crude exports still tough
Major oil firms and trade houses are gradually resuming energy trading with Iran but efforts remain very cautious and often face huge legal obstacles, meaning a post-sanctions return to full-scale activity will take weeks if not months.Trading sources told Reuters major trading houses Gunvor and Vitol have each delivered several cargoes of gasoline into Iran in recent days. Gunvor and Vitol declined to comment. click here.

 Jan 28 - U.S. crude stocks soar to highest on record - EIA
U.S. crude stocks rose to the highest level on record last week, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.Crude inventories rose by 8.4 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.3 million barrels. That brought crude inventories to 494.92 million barrels, the highest level since the EIA began tracking the data. click here.

 Jan 28 - Shell shareholders approve $50 bln BG takeover
Royal Dutch Shell shareholders approved its $50 billion takeover of BG Group on Wednesday, clearing the last main hurdle to creating the biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) trader in the world.BG shareholders are also expected to approve one of the biggest deals in the energy sector in the past decade at a meeting on Thursday, a vote that would allow the two oil and gas companies to merge on Feb. 15. click here.

Jan 27 - Oil investor Hall sees conditions ripe for a rebound in crude
After a 2015 that famed oil bull Andrew Hall said "wasn't much fun" because of plunging crude prices, the chief of Astenbeck Commodities says the market is ripe for a jump as producers operate near maximum capacity while supply risks rise.Hall's Astenbeck Commodities Fund suffered a more than 35 percent drop in 2015 as bullish bets on oil took a hit, pulling its total assets under management to $2.1 billion, according to company documents. click here.

 Jan 27 - Iraq says Saudi, Russia change tone on possible oil deal   
OPEC kingpin Saudi Arabia and top non-OPEC producer Russia are showing signs of flexibility about agreeing to tackle an oil glut that has pushed prices to 12-year lows, the oil minister of Iraq said on Tuesday."We have seen some flexibility from the brothers in Saudi and a change in tone from Russia," Adel Abdel Mahdi, whose country is the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, said. click here.

 Jan 27 - Asia fuel oil market faces troubling 2016 after punishing 2015
Asia's fuel oil market faces more trouble in 2016 because of plunging demand from independent Chinese refiners and as Asia's slowing economies dent consumption in power plants and seaborne trading.With China's economy growing at its slowest pace in a generation and Asia's trading powerhouses Japan and South Korea struggling to create growth, Asian fuel oil demand for container ships should stagnate in 2016, putting more pressure on a market that struggled last year. click here.

 Jan 27 - Goldman cuts Brent forecasts for 2016-2018; maintains WTI outlook
Goldman Sachs on Tuesday lowered its Brent crude price forecasts on expectations that the market was entering a phase where low prices would result in fundamental adjustments, led by factors including declining non-OPEC output.The influential U.S. investment bank lowered its 2016, 2017 and 2018 Brent price forecasts to $45, $62, and $63 per barrel from its previous outlook of $50, $65, and $65 to reflect a tighter Brent-WTI spread. click here.

Jan 27 - Standard & Poor's downgrades Asia-Pacific energy firms as oil prices tumble
Rating agency Standard and Poor's (S&P) on Tuesday downgraded several oil and gas companies in the Asia-Pacific region as a lower oil price forecast undermines the sector's revenue and credit outlook.In one of history's steepest price falls, crude has tumbled more than 70 percent since mid-2014 to under $30 a barrel, pulling down the share prices of energy firms, as producers pump 1 million to 2 million barrels of oil each day in excess of demand, in a war of discounts for market share. click here.

Jan 26 - OPEC, Russia talk of oil teamwork, but Saudi talks of investment
Senior OPEC and Russian oil industry officials stepped up vague talk on Monday of possible joint action to remedy one of the worst supply gluts in decades, while Saudi Arabia signalled its resolve to allow the market to balance itself.The latest volley of comments highlighted the intensifying pressure of $30 a barrel oil prices on cash-strapped countries such as Russia, but did not appear to tilt the scales meaningfully towards any concerted action to reverse the price crash, an idea repeatedly mooted but dismissed for over a year. click here.

 Jan 26 - Oil bulls may have spied turning point to price rout
With the world still awash with excess oil, analysts believe it may be premature to call an end to the rout that has driven the crude price below $30 a barrel this month, but the bulls are slowly emerging from hibernation.Speculators are now holding their largest net long position in Brent crude futures in six months, having added to their bullish bets exactly as the price crashed through the $30-a-barrel mark for the first time since 2003. click here.

 Jan 26 - Brazil oil rules block $120 bln in investment -IBP
Brazil's lack of clear rules for the unitization of oilfields is delaying the development of as many as 10 billion barrels of oil and gas and about $120 billion of investment, Jorge Camargo, head of Brazil's oil industry association, IBP, said on Monday.Unitization, the process of joining different or competing oil rights in an oilfield into a single unit, is required under Brazilian law. But existing regulations have complicated or prevented unitization, stopping development in some areas, Camargo said in a conference call. click here.

 Jan 26 - Saudi Aramco chief says maintaining oil and gas investment
National oil giant Saudi Aramco is continuing to invest in oil and gas production capacity despite cost-cutting due to low oil prices, its chairman Khalid al-Falih said on Monday.Aramco's plans starkly contrast with governments and oil firms outside the Gulf, which have been reducing capital spending sharply in response to financial pressures as crude prices drop to 12-year lows. click here.

 Jan 26 - Halliburton says no deal yet with regulators on size of asset sales
Halliburton Co, which is awaiting regulatory approval for its acquisition of Baker Hughes Inc, said it was yet to reach an agreement with U.S. and European regulators about the "adequacy" of proposed divestitures.Halliburton presented "an enhanced set of proposed divestitures" to the U.S. Department of Justice earlier this month, CEO Dave Lesar said on a post-earnings call. click here.

Jan 25 - Oil's whiplash above $30: dead cat bounce or double-bottom base?
The oil market's roller-coaster ride this year is not over yet, technical analysts warned on Friday, with new lows likely to come after traders catch their breath.U.S. oil futures for March surged 13.5 percent on Thursday and Friday, erasing nearly half the losses racked up since the start of the year as bearish traders cashed out. click here.

 Jan 25 - Forget the glut, oil enters irrational territory
World oil markets quietly breached an important barrier as they crashed nearly 30 percent to below $30 a barrel in the opening weeks of 2016, crossing the fuzzy line separating a rational response to fundamentals from an irrational fear where the only way forward is down, down, down.Animal spirits have taken over the futures markets of New York and London, with momentum-driven algorithmic traders and big hedge funds driving oil prices far beyond the point that even once-bearish analysts say is justified - at least in the medium-term - by supply and demand. click here.

 Jan 25 - Greece to restart crude oil purchases from Iran
Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum agreed on Friday to buy crude oil from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), the first European refiner to restart trade relations with Iran after the lifting of international sanctions.Hellenic Petroleum was a major buyer of Iranian crude, which accounted for about 20 percent of the southeast European country's annual crude oil imports before sanctions were imposed on Tehran in 2011. click here.

 Jan 25 - Oil funds pared record bearish bets just before price spike - CFTC
Some big oil funds began cashing in on bearish short positions just before prices rebounded from 12-year lows this week, data showed on Friday.Oil prices surged by nearly 15 percent on Thursday and Friday as short funds raced for the exit, reversing nearly half of the relentless new year selloff that had pushed crude below $30 a barrel as bearish sentiment engulfed the market. click here.

 Jan 25 - Faced with cheap oil prices, biofuels industry sees no déjà vu
Ethanol producers may feel less pain from sinking oil prices than in previous tough times, as a government rule ensures a minimum use of the biofuel and recent consolidation gives them both financial strength and output flexibility.Oil prices at 2003 lows and the highest ethanol stocks for nearly four years have given some in the trade flashbacks to 2008 and 2012 when weak margins forced many plants to close. click here.

 Jan 25 - Hefty maintenance schedule looms for Canada oil sands producers
Canada's biggest oil sands producers, which have stubbornly resisted halting output even as the price of their crude hits record lows, are planning a higher-than-normal maintenance schedule this yearThe move is seen temporarily curbing supply in the second and third quarters, which should lift crude prices in the region and give producers a respite from selling their barrels below cash costs. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Jan 22 - No sign Saudi Arabia will ride to oil market rescue
Low oil prices have pushed top exporter Saudi Arabia to hasten difficult economic reforms and cut spending on popular benefits, but it has few options beyond sticking with a strategy to defend its market share - no matter how low prices sink. A return of Iranian crude to the market after sanctions were lifted may now plunge prices to new lows after a 19-month drop of 76 percent that caused Riyadh's $54 billion fiscal surplus in 2013 to swing to a $98 billion deficit last year. click here.

 Jan 22 - Forget the glut, oil enters irrational territory
World oil markets quietly breached an important barrier as they crashed nearly 30 percent to below $30 a barrel in the opening weeks of 2016, crossing the fuzzy line separating a rational response to fundamentals from an irrational fear where the only way forward is down, down, down. Animal spirits have taken over the futures markets of New York and London, with momentum-driven algorithmic traders and big hedge funds driving oil prices far beyond the point that even once-bearish analysts say is justified - at least in the medium-term - by supply and demand. click here.

 Jan 22 - Legal uncertainties delay flow of Iranian oil to Europe
European companies and trading houses are not rushing to buy Iranian oil because of legal uncertainties over the lifting of sanctions that are likely to take weeks to clarify. A lack of dollar clearing, the absence of an established mechanism for non-dollar sales, insufficient clarity on ship insurance and the reluctance of banks to provide letters of credit to facilitate trade are all giving cause for caution. Iran used to sell as much as 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) to European refiners in Italy, Spain and Greece before sanctions over its nuclear programme were imposed. European markets have since then been inundated with extra oil from Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iraq. click here.

 Jan 22 - China's opening up of oil market under scrutiny after deals sour
A Chinese industry body said it could review rules covering the import of crude by new entrants after a private refinery failed to secure financing for 1.5 million barrels of crude it bought, in a blow to Beijing's moves to open up its oil market. Baota Petrochemical Group Co Ltd could not get letters of credit for two crude cargoes worth more than $50 million it bought from commodity merchants Vitol and Mercuria, two traders with direct knowledge of the transactions said. click here.

 Jan 22 - Iraq seeks to link oil companies' fees to crude price - minister
Iraq is in talks with foreign oil companies to link the fees they receive for developing its fields to oil prices and have them share the burden when markets go down, Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi told Reuters on Thursday. Current service agreements with oil companies are straining Iraq's budget as the government pays the firms a fixed fee for increasing production at ageing fields, when its own revenue is dropping with falling oil prices. click here.

Jan 21 - U.S. oil import binge: distorted derivatives or shale bust?
New York and London oil futures markets are sending a dangerously misleading signal to the real world, according to a growing number of analysts and physical traders. The message: the United States wants more oil. Oil derivatives traders have bid U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude to a premium versus global market Brent for the first time since the shale boom began in 2010, a rally that emerged after the abrupt end of an export ban that producers said had forced them to sell domestic oil at below-market rates. click here.

 Jan 21 - Venezuela's call for emergency OPEC meet gets doubtful response
Venezuela has requested that OPEC hold an emergency meeting to discuss steps to prop up oil prices, which have fallen to their lowest since 2003, two OPEC sources said on Wednesday. But four other delegates from countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said such a meeting was unlikely to happen. OPEC's Gulf members including Saudi Arabia have opposed earlier calls for emergency meetings. click here.

 Jan 21 - Even in slump, U.S. oilfield firms hesitate over post-sanctions Iran
For U.S. oilfield services companies suffering the worst revenue slump in decades it would at first seem like a lifeline: The lifting of sanctions on Iran by six world powers reopened the door for their foreign units to return to the  OPEC member that needs help to develop its oil reserves. Iran, home to the world's fourth largest crude reserves, is embarking on a $185 billion effort to revive oil and gas projects by 2020 after sanctions halved the country's oil exports and led to neglect of its energy infrastructure. click here.

 Jan 21 - Saudi Aramco in advanced talks to buy China refinery stakes - chairman
Saudi Aramco is in advanced talks to invest in refineries in China and the company was also in talks with CNPC and Sinopec for investment opportunities in refining, marketing and petrochemicals, the chairman of the state oil company said. Saudi Aramco Chairman Khalid al-Falih also told reporters on the sidelines of the official inauguration of Yasref, a 400,000 barrels per day oil refinery, that there may be opportunities for further expansion of the plant. click here.

 Jan 21 - Middle East economic slowdown will cut oil demand growth: Kemp
The Middle East was the fastest growing region for oil consumption except China over the last decade as young populations and booming economies simulated a surge in fuel demand. The Middle East is not only one of the world’s most important producers and exporters of oil; in recent years it has become one of the most important and fast-growing consumers. In an example of the destabilising positive feedback loops in the oil market, the richer the countries around the Gulf became, the more their own internal energy consumption surged, and the more they contributed to oil demand. click here.

 Jan 21 - U.S. refiners brace for possible glitches in first winter test
U.S. refineries along the East Coast and the Midwest are facing their first major test of the winter season since last year's blistering cold set off a string of outages, sending gasoline and diesel prices soaring. Freezing temperatures have descended upon the U.S. Northeast and Midwest ahead of a potentially historic storm that threatens to dump as much as 24 inches (61 cm) of snow in parts of the I-95 highway corridor running between Boston and Washington this weekend, according to the National Weather Service. click here.

Jan 20 - IEA says oil market may "drown in oversupply" in 2016
Unseasonably warm weather and rising supply will keep the crude oil market oversupplied until at least late 2016 and could push the price below its current 12-year lows, the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday.The addition of Iranian supply to a market where production looks set to outpace consumption for a third year in a row could not come at a worse time for crude oil exporters, who are grappling with prices at their lowest in more than a decade. click here.

 Jan 20 - Ample storage space for oil may limit price moves
There is more storage space for crude around the world than anticipated, which will help prevent further sharp falls in the price but also weigh against significant price rises, analysts and industry watchers say.New storage tanks built in recent years, mostly in the United States and Asia, leave hundreds of millions of barrels of space to fill, confounding expectations that excess production could overflow tanks and drive prices further down. click here.

 Jan 20 - Saudi spare oil capacity complicates any Aramco listing - sources
Saudi Arabia's policy of keeping a vast amount of oil production capacity unused is a possible complication in any listing of the upstream part of state oil firm Aramco, industry sources said.Saudi Arabia holds the world's only significant amount of spare oil capacity, which it has tapped to fill shortages caused by outages and conflicts such as the 2011 war in Libya, or to calm price spikes. click here.

 Jan 20 - Building binge by Iowa pig farmers may lead to even lower prices
Farmers have ramped up construction of swine farm buildings in Iowa, home to about a third of U.S. hogs, as they take advantage of cheap feed and strong demand for pork from countries including China and Mexico.Some are also looking to add space for the heavier pigs currently favored by customers and to cater for extra piglets as sows become more fertile, experts said.  click here.

Jan 19 - Iran boosts oil output, foreign firms keen to seal deals
Iran ordered a sharp increase in oil output on Monday to take immediate advantage of the lifting of international sanctions, and some foreign firms raced to snap up deals as Tehran emerges from years of international isolation. Others were more wary, mindful of the risk of falling foul of an array of U.S. penalties that remain in place despite the lifting of nuclear-related sanctions on Saturday by the United States, European Union and United Nations. click here.

 Jan 19 - OPEC sees oil market rebalancing in 2016, but Iran to counter non-OPEC decline
OPEC forecast on Monday that oil supply from non-member countries will post a larger-than-expected decline this year due to the collapse in prices, boosting the need for crude from the producer group. Supply outside the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) would decline by 660,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2016, led by the United States, OPEC said in a report. Last month, OPEC predicted a drop of 380,000 bpd. click here.

 Jan 19 - Asian oil traders hire smaller ships to maximize savings
Traders are hiring two smaller tankers rather than one large one to ship clean oil products in Asia as a big gap in freight rates between different sized vessels is offering savings of at least $100,000 per load, trade and shipping sources said on Monday. This is a shift from the usual practice of buyers in Asia lifting larger cargoes to maximize cost savings in freight rates, they said. click here.

 Jan 19 - ChemChina to buy 12 percent of Swiss trader Mercuria
ChemChina has agreed to buy a stake in Swiss energy trader Mercuria, the companies said on Monday, cementing its role as one of China's most acquisitive firms as its expands in new areas and as Beijing opens its oil markets for more imports. The deal to sell 12 percent of its business will allow Mercuria to foster ties with the world's second-largest oil market a year after completing a deal to integrate the trading desk of Wall Street bank JPMorgan to strengthen its position in the United States. click here.

 Jan 19 - Oil shock is hurting U.S. economy: Kemp
Slumping oil and gas prices and a downturn in investment are proving to be major headwinds for the economies of the United States and other key important petroleum producers. Economists tend to think of oil and gas as simply an input into the production process for other goods and services, which is why they tend to think of falling fuel prices as a positive influence on economic activity. click here.

 Jan 19 - Worried about sub-$20 crude? Some sellers are already there
An end to sanctions on Iran has driven global crude futures to 12-year lows and brought sub-$20-a-barrel oil in sight, although for some producers that is already a painful reality. This unfortunate group sells some physical crude cargoes at prices that are closer to $10 a barrel, thanks to an abundance of the "sour" grades they produce and a consumer base that favours higher-quality "light" oils from other origins. Producers of certain crudes from Mexico, Venezuela, Canada and Iraq are bracing for worse to come as Iran - now free of international sanctions - prepares to offload hefty supplies of heavy sour grades onto export markets. click here.

 Jan 19 - Oil producing nations to sell $240 bln assets this year -JP Morgan
Oil-producing countries will sell $240 billion of international assets this year, mostly stocks and bonds, in an attempt to hold together budgets blown apart by the slump in oil prices, according to estimates from JP Morgan. That sum will come from running down their foreign exchange reserves and Sovereign Wealth Fund holdings. They will also raise some $20 billion by selling government bonds of their own to help cover a current account shortfall of $260 billion, the U.S. bank predicts. click here.

 Jan 19 - Suncor reaches deal to buy Canadian Oil Sands with sweetened offer
Canada's largest oil producer Suncor Energy Inc has reached a deal to acquire rival Canadian Oil Sands Ltd on Monday by raising its all-stock offer, a move seen marking the end of a months-long battle for the synthetic crude asset. The deal, valued at about C$4.24 billion ($2.93 billion), came days after Suncor's hostile bid fell short of support from Canadian Oil Sands shareholders. click here.

Jan 18 - Bets against energy stocks hit decade high as oil gets crushed
Short selling in energy stocks in December hit levels not seen in more than a decade as a global glut in oil crushed the commodity's prices to 12-year lows and deepened fears of bankruptcies. Among stocks in the S&P 500 energy sector, short interest on average increased to 7.28 percent at the end of December from 6.59 percent at mid-month, the highest level since at least 2003, according to FactSet Research Systems. click here.

 Jan 18 - Oil funds expand bearish U.S. crude bets to record 200 mln barrels
Money managers and speculators pushed their bearish bets in the U.S. crude market to a record high in the week ended Jan. 12, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed, selling into the biggest two-week price rout since the 2008 financial crisis. As oil prices plumbed new lows on Friday, closing to below $30 a barrel for the first time in 12 years, money managers boosted their short position to just over 200,000 contracts, equivalent to 200 million barrels, nearly 20,000 lots more than the previous high in December, according to CFTC data. click here.

 Jan 18 - U.S. manufacturing stalls, cutting fuel consumption: Kemp
Excess inventories at every stage along the supply chain are weighing down business activity as well as depressing freight demand and diesel consumption in the United States. Businesses have made little progress in reversing the unwanted build up in inventories that occurred during the second half of 2014 and early 2015. click here.

Jan 15 - China buys first U.S. crude cargo since end of export ban – source
China’s state-run oil refiner Sinopec Corp has purchased its first ever batch of U.S. crude oil for export, a source told Reuters on Thursday, a landmark transaction after the ending of a four-decade ban on domestic exports. The cargo, due to be loaded from a Gulf Coast port in March, may mark the start of a sustained flow of U.S. oil to China, the world’s second-largest buyer, which is eager to diversify its energy sources. Unipec, its trading arm, also has the advantage of leased oil storage tanks in the Caribbean, which could allow it to blend U.S. shale with cheap, heavy Latin American crudes for a bespoke mix ideally suited to its plants back home. click here.

 Jan 15 - As clock ticks down on sanctions, oil-laden Iran tankers set to target India and Europe
With Iran poised to resume usual business ties with the world under a historic nuclear deal, Tehran is set to target India, Asia's fastest-growing major oil market, and old partners in Europe with hundreds of thousands of barrels of its crude. Iran expects the U.N. nuclear watchdog to confirm on Friday it has curtailed its nuclear programme, paving the way for the unfreezing of billions of dollars of assets and an end to bans that have crippled its oil exports.  click here.

 Jan 15 - China's record fuel exports show changing economic dynamics: Russell
Sort of lost among the attention given to China's record crude oil imports in December was the fact that the nation's exports of refined fuels also hit an all-time high. Crude imports surged 21.4 percent in the final month of 2015 to hit 7.82 million barrels per day (bpd), taking the average for the whole year to 6.71 million bpd, another record and a gain of about 8.8 percent, or 542,600 bpd, over 2014. click here.

 Jan 15 - BHP Billiton dividend cut looms as it takes $7.2 bln shale charge
Global miner BHP Billiton said on Friday it will write down the value its U.S. shale assets by $7.2 billion on a bleak outlook for oil and gas prices, cementing expectations it will be forced to cut its dividend for the first time in over 25 years. Investors have argued that BHP should abandon its policy of holding or increasing its dividend at every result, as it is having to rely on debt to fund the payout following a rout in commodity prices and steep fall in profits. click here.

 Jan 15 - Crude oil tumble hits Southeast Asia's biodiesel ambitions
The world's top palm oil producers Indonesia and Malaysia may have to curb plans to channel more of the commodity into biodiesel as tumbling crude oil prices render the edible oil twice as expensive as its fossil fuel alternative. Indonesia expects to raise the minimum bio content of gasoil in the country by a quarter to 20 percent in 2016, while Malaysia has said it plans a 10-percent blend, up from the 7-percent targetted in 2015. click here.

 Jan 15 - As oil futures crash, cash crude markets keep calm and carry on
Even as the biggest oil market meltdown since the financial crisis unfolded over the past few weeks, the real-world, physical market is showing few signs of panic or distress - yet. The disparity emerging between futures and prices for cash crude cargos being shipped next week and physical oil in storage can be seen from Singapore to Houston. Merchants, refiners and oil producers say the immediate market for Nigerian or North Dakota crude is holding fast, in contrast to the 20 percent slump that has unfolded on their screens. The deep discounts or unsold tankers that would suggest a more dire real-world glut, as in late 2008, are not to be found, even with futures touching $30 for the first time since 2004. click here.

Jan 14 - Saudi government to keep controlling stake if it lists Aramco - CEO
Saudi Arabia's government will keep a controlling interest in state-owned Saudi Aramco if it decides on a share offering of the world's largest oil firm, its chief executive said. Aramco has crude reserves of about 265 billion barrels, over 15 percent of all global oil deposits. If it went public, it could become the first listed company valued at $1 trillion, analysts have estimated.  click here.

 Jan 14 - Auto sales underpin demand for Asia refiners; China tax break expiry may change that
As oil producers agonize over tumbling crude prices, strong car sales in India and China are underpinning demand for gasoline, giving makers of refined products and petrochemicals healthy margins. While that means share prices of refiners with little or no crude production are outperforming primarily crude producers, much could hinge on China's economy and Beijing's policy of tax breaks for small car buyers. click here.

 Jan 14 - U.S. gasoline stocks surge for second week; crude builds - EIA
U.S. gasoline and diesel inventories surged for a second week while crude stocks rose slightly last week, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Gasoline stocks rose 8.4 million barrels in the week to Jan. 8, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.7 million-barrel gain. In the previous week, the stockpiles rose more than 10 million barrels, the largest build since 1993. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose 6.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 2.0 million-barrel increase, the data showed. Gulf Coast distillate stocks rose to the highest level seasonally since 2011. click here.

 Jan 14 - Smaller producers surprise with oil price resilience
Mid-sized oil producing companies are proving more resilient against weak oil prices than expected as they are able to slash more costs, allowing them to press ahead with projects that are set to add even more barrels to a global supply glut. British-listed oil producer Tullow surprised analysts on Wednesday with a smaller-than-expected rise in debt to $4 billion, while rival Premier Oil, often cited as a takeover target as oil prices declined, announced the $120 million acquisition of E.ON's UK oil and gas assets. click here.

 Jan 14 - Despite oil spending cuts in 2016, Mideast and Russia race on
Oil companies could slash 2016 spending by around 20 percent in the face of a persistent downturn, with North America taking the brunt of the cuts while Middle Eastern and Russian firms are set to raise budgets as their fight for market share continues. As the industry grapples with its worst downturn in three decades, the crisis that has seen thousands of jobs wiped out and more than $200 billion of projects scrapped last year shows no sign of abating as oil prices flirt with 13-year lows of $30 a barrel, down nearly 70 percent from June 2014.  click here.

 Jan 14 - Drilling downturn hits U.S. oil consumption: Kemp
Oil and gas production was one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States between 2009 and 2014 according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Oil production increased by more than 60 percent while natural gas production was up by more than 25 percent thanks to the shale revolution. What is less well-known is that oil and gas production is also very energy intensive and the drilling boom contributed significantly to fuel consumption, especially diesel. Now the drilling boom is over, lower fuel demand from oil and gas producers helps explain why diesel consumption in the United States has been unusually weak over the last 12 months. click here.

Jan 13 - Oil's slide below $30 sends shockwaves far and wide
U.S. oil stumbled below $30 for the first time in 12 years to levels that threaten the survival of many U.S. shale firms, spur more belt-tightening by oil majors and spell more pain for crude-producing nations and regions. A seven-day losing streak fueled by concerns about a continued supply glut and fragile demand from China, the world's No. 2 consumer, wiped out almost a fifth of crude prices this year and 70 percent since mid-2014. click here.

 Jan 13 - Drilling slump saps U.S. diesel demand: Kemp
El Nino and the warm winter weather are being blamed for the weak demand for distillate fuel oil in the United States, but the slump in oil production is probably having a bigger impact. The oil industry was the fastest-growing customer for middle distillates like diesel between 2009 and 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). The oil industry itself accounted for 20 percent of all the increase in diesel consumption during the five-year drilling boom. click here.

 Jan 13 - Latest oil slide triggers more bets against commodity currencies
Bets against commodity-linked emerging currencies are on the rise again as crude prices fall to around $30 a barrel, but volatility remains well below the peaks of last year. Brent crude's renewed tumble this year has put commodity exporters' currencies on course to extend last year's losses and some, such as the South African rand and the Mexican peso, have hit record lows.  The Russian rouble is inching lower too, 4 percent off record lows struck towards the end of 2014, and these spot market losses are filtering into options markets where investors can try to hedge against further weakness. click here.

 Jan 13 - UAE moves to quash talk of OPEC emergency meet as oil slumps
The United Arab Emirates moved to quash talk of a potential emergency meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) after Nigeria's oil minister said on Tuesday a "couple" of members had requested a gathering. Benchmark Brent crude futures slipped towards $30 a barrel to a near 12-year low before rising slightly. They have shed almost three-quarters of their value since mid-2014 due to oversupply. click here.

 Jan 13 - U.S. sees no relief from swelling oil glut until late 2017
The global oil glut will swell until late 2017, the U.S. government forecast on Tuesday in an outlook that offered little hope of near-term relief for energy producers reeling from the collapse of crude prices to 12-year lows around $30 a barrel. Increased Iranian oil output should feed the global glut this year with the expected lifting of Western sanctions on that country's exports, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. The agency forecast that a limited decline in U.S. supplies next year and steady growth in global demand will help ease the glut only in the third quarter of 2017, the first decline after nearly four straight years of gains. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Jan 12 - Aramco chairman says no concrete listing plans yet - WSJ
Saudi Arabia's giant national oil company is weighing various ideas regarding the possible listing of the world's largest oil company or its subsidiaries, Saudi Aramco Chairman Khalid al-Falih told the Wall Street Journal on Monday. Falih told the WSJ that there was no specific timeline yet for the listing, saying it "cannot be done overnight". click here.

 Jan 12 - Oil firms offer online petrol trading in China to tap booming vehicle market
Chinese oil firms are launching digital platforms for consumers such as taxi drivers, truck companies and private car owners to buy fuel speculatively for use at a later stage, stoking a growing trend in China's fast-growing vehicle market. The country's road transport sector has become the biggest in the world, with some 150 million cars in use and monthly growth of over 2 million new vehicles. click here.

 Jan 12 - Dealmaking heats up for oil pricing agencies as IHS buys OPIS
Information provider IHS Inc has agreed to buy U.S. oil pricing agency OPIS as deal making in the oil pricing industry heats up after regulators' scrutiny cools. IHS, which provides information and analytics to customers from airspace and shipping to government security, will pay $650 million for U.S.-based Oil Price Information Service (OPIS) to add real-time pricing information to its energy analytics business. click here.

 Jan 12 - Poland studies energy sector mergers, copper concerns
Poland surprised the markets on Monday with plans to merge its biggest oil and gas firms to forge central Europe's No.1 energy company and prevent any hostile takeover threat. Treasury minister Dawid Jackiewicz is considering tie-ups between the state-run oil refiners PKN Orlen and Lotos, and gas firm PGNiG, with the analysis to be ready by the end of this quarter. Put together their joint market value would stand at 60 billion zlotys ($15 billion), almost twice as much as Austria's OMV and three times the market cap of Hungary's MOL. click here.

 Jan 12 - U.S. shale output to fall 116,000 bpd mo/mo in Feb, same as Jan
U.S. shale oil production is expected to fall for a seventh month in a row in February, declining at about the same rate as the month before as drillers manage to eke out a few more barrels from each new well, U.S. data showed on Monday. Total output was set to decline by 116,000 bpd to 4.8 million bpd in February compared with January, a U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) drilling productivity report said. click here.

Jan 11 - Saudi Aramco would sell downstream ops, not upstream - sources
Saudi Arabia is considering selling shares in refining ventures with foreign oil firms but would not offer a stake in the crude oil exploration and production operations of state oil giant Saudi Aramco, sources familiar with official thinking said. Some Aramco managers have been informed that the company is looking at listing shares in "joint downstream subsidiaries" at home and abroad, the sources said. click here.

 Jan 11 - U.S. oil rigs dive to lowest since 2010, more cuts seen
U.S. oil drillers began the year by slashing the number of rigs to the lowest in over five years, data showed on Friday, with analysts saying further reductions are almost certain as producers respond to a deepening oil price rout. Drillers cut 20 oil rigs in the week ended Jan. 8, the third-largest one-week decline since May, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. The reductions occurred across every major shale patch, from the Permian to the Bakken. click here.

 Jan 11 - 2016 brings more pain to U.S. shale companies as crude sinks  
Pain is quickly growing more acute in the new year at beleaguered U.S. shale companies as a global supply glut sinks crude further to 11-year lows, putting added financial stress on the most heavily indebted. Debt and equity investors have all but given up on the exploration and production sector as oil prices tumble lower. In the last year, the SIG index of oil companies fell 42 percent, compared with a 0.6 percent decline in the Standard & Poor's 500 index. click here.

 Jan 11 - Fear makes oil options increasingly expensive: Kemp
The price of oil options is soaring amid increasing uncertainty about the outlook for prices and indicating a mismatch between strong demand from hedge funds and caution among option sellers. The implied volatility, and therefore cost, of at-the-money one-month Brent options contracts has surged to 53 percent, up from 46 percent at the end of last year and just 34 percent in mid-November. click here.

 Jan 11 - At private Goldman confab, U.S. oil drillers add to glut woes
Goldman Sachs has diagnosed a new reason for the sudden slump in energy industry sentiment this week: talk of agility, not agony, among leading U.S. shale oil producers speaking at the Wall Street bank's closed-door conference. In a research note following its Jan. 5-7 Global Energy Conference in Miami, which was closed to the media, the analysts said that investor sentiment "deteriorated further" during the event for three reasons, including a view that drillers were still overly optimistic about the potential for $50 oil. click here.

 Jan 11 - Big funds dumped bullish bets as oil crashed to 12-yr low
Hedge funds began the year by slashing their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil to the lowest since 2010, bailing out of the market just as oil prices were tumbling toward toward 12-year lows, data showed on Friday. Big speculators cut their net long positions to fewer than 50,000 contracts or 50 million barrels in the week to Tuesday, a weekly report from a U.S. government agency that tracks commodity markets activity showed on Friday. click here.

Jan 08 - Chinese commodities funds see weaker metals, yuan; eye oil, agriculture
Chinese commodity funds see further falls in metal prices in 2016, but are eyeing potential buying opportunities in agricultural products and oil as beaten-down prices near the bottom of the cycle, fund sources said. As turmoil around China's falling yuan hits world share markets, many fund managers expect further weakness in the currency, and plan to increase their hedging or start taking out currency protection for the first time. click here.

Jan 08 - Little in way of oil sliding below $30
If oil prices do not rally hard on Friday, they seem doomed to drop below $30 a barrel for the first time since 2003, according to chart-watching analysts. In just four sessions since 2016 began, Brent and U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate futures have lost some 9 percent, reaching 12-year lows just above $32. click here.

 Jan 08 - Traders eye Alaskan oil exports to Asia as shipping ban ended
Oil traders in Asia are running the numbers on importing Alaskan crude, after the end of a four-decade ban on U.S. exports also eliminated a costly tanker requirement for shipping North Slope oil overseas. Although Alaskan crude was one of the few domestic varieties effectively exempt from the export ban, exporters were required under the Jones Act rules to use vessels from a small fleet of U.S.-flagged tankers. Flows to Asia reached nearly 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) in the late 1990s, but then came to a halt due to dwindling production and expensive freight rates. click here.

Jan 08 - India's 2015 Iran oil imports fall by a quarter - trade
India's oil imports from Iran fell by about a quarter in 2015 as refiners slowed purchases early in the year to keep imports within the limits of sanctions, preliminary tanker arrival data obtained by Reuters shows. Western sanctions against Iran's controversial nuclear programme limit the Gulf country's oil exports to 1-1.1 million barrels per day (bpd), with buyers such as India curbing annual purchases to 220,000 bpd. click here.

 Jan 08 - Shell sees BG deal working with oil at $50 for two years - sources
Royal Dutch Shell has told investors its purchase of BG can work even if oil prices average $50 a barrel for two years, its lowest estimate to date as it seeks to secure shareholder support for the $51 billion deal amid plunging crude markets. The Anglo-Dutch group is confident investors will back the deal at a Jan. 27 meeting, even though crude prices are languishing near 12 year lows around $32 a barrel and it faces a cut to its credit ratings due to higher debts, sources with knowledge of its meetings with analysts and investors said. 
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Jan 07 - China goes underground to expand its strategic oil reserves
China is building underground caverns capable of holding up to a quarter of its expanded strategic oil reserves by 2020, as it looks for new storage methods away from expensive and exposed above-ground tanks in crowded coastal regions. In a move to improve its energy security and take advantage of cheap oil, China is spending billions of dollars to build up strategic petroleum reserves (SPR) to meet up to 90 day's worth of net import demand in case of a disruption. click here.

 Jan 07 - OPEC switches to Argus from Platts for energy price data
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has switched to Argus Media as its energy price data provider this year, dropping global pricing service Platts. The producer group, which accounts for 40 percent of the world's oil output, will use Argus's prices for evaluation, analysis and reporting from Jan. 1, Argus said in a statement released late on Wednesday. click here.

 Jan 07 - U.S. gasoline stock rise a seasonal quirk, not ominous sign
A massive increase in U.S. gasoline inventories last week was due to a year-end blending quirk by refiners and terminal operators, rather than a sudden plunge in demand as many investors feared, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. The dramatic and unexpected build sent U.S. gasoline futures plummeting, with U.S. gasoline blendstock futures falling more than 2 percent to new near-seven-year lows of $1.16 as traders feared it portended a sudden slowdown in demand from U.S. motorists after a year of booming pump sales. click here.

 Jan 07 - U.S. manufacturing slowdown stokes fears about oil demand: Kemp
Growing signs of weakness in the U.S. economy are helping keep oil prices under pressure even as tensions escalate across North Africa and the Middle East. U.S. manufacturers reported business activity contracted for the second month running in December, according to the Institute of Supply Management (ISM). click here.

 Jan 07 - TransCanada sues U.S. over Keystone XL pipeline rejection
TransCanada Corp sued the U.S government on Wednesday to reverse President Barack Obama's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, and also plans to seek $15 billion in damages from a trade tribunal. TranCanada's lawsuit in a federal court in Houston, Texas, called rejection of its permit to build the pipeline unconstitutional. In a separate action under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the company said the pipeline permit denial was "arbitrary and unjustified." click here.

Jan 06 - Iran doesn't want oil price war, may limit output rise - official
Iran wants to avoid an oil price war with rival producers and only gradually lift exports once sanctions against it are lifted, a senior official said, in what would be a major shift away from planning to ship as much fuel as soon as possible. Iran, which has some of the world's biggest petroleum reserves, has repeatedly urged fellow members within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to make room for a supply jump from the Islamic Republic, pledging to ramp up exports as soon as sanctions on its oil industry are lifted under a nuclear deal with world powers. click here.

Jan 06 - Saudi-Iran split dashes chance of OPEC deal to curb oil glut
The collapse in relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran after the Saudi execution of a Shi'ite cleric puts an end to speculation that OPEC could somehow agree production curbs to lift the price of oil anytime soon. A Reuters survey of OPEC production showed on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia ended 2015 with its output at full tilt, with no sign of cutting supply to make room for Iran, which plans to ramp up its own output when international financial sanctions are lifted this year. click here.

Jan 06 - Crude tanker backlog in U.S. Gulf eases on robust imports
A backlog of tankers off the shores of the U.S. Gulf Coast that swelled in the final quarter of 2015 is easing, with the volume of crude waiting to discharge declining by more than half in just a month's time. There currently are 27 vessels offshore in the U.S. Gulf Coast waiting to discharge an estimated 15 million barrels of crude, compared to 36 million barrels at the start of December, ClipperData said on Tuesday. click here.

Jan 05 - POLL - Stubborn oversupply through 2016 to curb oil price recovery
Crude oil prices are unlikely to rally much in 2016 as subdued demand growth looks unable to absorb rising supply from the likes of Iran and Iraq, even though non-OPEC output is expected to moderate, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. The average 2016 price for benchmark North Sea Brent crude futures was forecast at $52.52 a barrel, $5.43 below the previous month's poll, according to the survey of 20 analysts. click here.

 Jan 05 - West African Jan. crude exports to Asia edge off five-month high
West African crude oil exports to Asia in January are set to slide from a five-month high reached the previous month, but strong buying in India has kept them elevated, traders and shipping fixtures showed on Monday. The total bookings of 1.81 million bpd stand nearly 8 percent below the December levels, but are above both January 2015 and three of the past five months. click here.

 Jan 05 - El Nino and sluggish freight upend U.S. heating oil market: Kemp
Heating oil prices in the United States are trading as if it was mid-summer rather than winter, as warm weather and sluggish demand from freight companies combine to make heating oil cheaper than gasoline. Heating oil normally trades at a substantial premium to gasoline in winter and then moves to a discount during the second and third quarters as heating demand fades and the summer driving season ramps up. click here.

 Jan 05 - Investment firm launches first outright price index for Canada crude
A Canadian investment management firm launched the first-ever real-time index monitoring the outright price of heavy Canadian crude on Monday, based on prices published by derivatives exchange ICE Futures Europe. Canada is the No. 1 supplier of crude to the United States and home to the world's third-largest reserves, but its crude has always been priced at a differential to the U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate. click here.

Jan 04 - Big oil to cut investment again in 2016
With crude prices at 11-year lows, the world's biggest oil and gas producers are facing their longest period of investment cuts in decades, but are expected to borrow more to preserve the dividends demanded by investors. At around $37 a barrel, crude prices are well below the $60 firms such as Total, Statoil and BP need to balance their books, a level that has already been sharply reduced over the past 18 months. click here.

 Jan 04 - Analysts see 2016 oil price rise, while traders bet on fall
A year ago, after oil prices had halved in six months, analysts were forecasting a price recovery in 2015 while many traders were busy shorting the market. As it turned out, the traders were correct and oil prices fell by another third this year. Analysts have now forecast a pick-up in prices over 2016, while traders built short positions on U.S. oil futures to a record in early December. click here.

 Jan 04 - Iran says boosting oil exports depends on future demand
A rise in Iran's crude oil exports once sanctions against it are lifted depends on future global oil demand and should not further weaken oil prices, senior officials were quoted as saying. Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Iran did not plan to exacerbate an already bearish oil market.  click here.

 Jan 04 - Iraq's southern oil exports down in December – ministry
Iraq's oil exports from its southern fields averaged 3.215 million barrels per day in December, down from a record high in November but up from a year earlier, the oil ministry said on Friday. Exports fell from 3.365 million bpd in November as bad weather complicated loadings, ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said. A year earlier, Iraq's southern December exports averaged 2.76 million bpd. click here.

 Jan 04 - Russian oil output hits post-Soviet record high in Dec, 2015
Oil output in Russia, one of the world's largest producers, hit a post-Soviet high last month and in 2015 as small- and medium-sized energy companies cranked up the pumps despite falling crude prices, Energy Ministry data showed on Saturday. The rise shows producers are taking advantage of lower costs due to rouble devaluation and signals Moscow's resolve not to give in to producer group OPEC's request to curb oil output to support prices. click here.

 Jan 04 - Output resumes at North Sea Eldfisk, Embla fields – ConocoPhillips
Production at the Eldfisk and Embla oilfields in the North Sea has resumed, operator ConocoPhillips said on Sunday, following a shutdown on New Year's Eve on concerns that the installations could be hit by a drifting barge. The vessel had been drifting towards BP's Valhall platform and ConocoPhillips's Eldfisk and Embla, which lie in the middle of the North Sea between Norway and Britain, prompting staff evacuations. 
click here.

Argentina's energy needs draw fuel tankers from around the globe  

A flotilla of 21 fuel tankers from Europe, the Caribbean, Brazil and the United States is steaming toward Argentina as it ramps up imports of gasoil and liquefied natural gas to record levels this year, according to its new government and Thomson Reuters data. Still a long way from regaining the energy self-sufficiency lost in 2010, the South American country has bought 49 cargoes of LNG so far this year and will buy 90 in all, a spokesman for the Energy Ministry told Reuters this week.

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Freeport says buyers eager for a stake in its assets  

U.S. miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc will consider a "broad spectrum" of asset sales and has attracted interest from parties wanting to buy a stake in a grouping of its assets, Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Quirk said on Wednesday. "We have not ruled anything out," Quirk said at the Deutsche Industrials and Materials summit. 

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Nigerian chaos leaves refiners cold and oil unsold amid outages  

Refineries from India to the United States are backing away from buying Nigerian oil amid heightened uncertainty about deliveries as the country squares up to militants in the restive Delta region. Their reluctance to buy is limiting the prices Nigeria can get for its oil even as there is less of it – another hit to the finances of a country battling its worst economic crisis in decades. 

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Glencore sells down further agri unit stake for $625 mln  

Glencore has agreed to sell a 9.99 percent stake in its agricultural business to British Columbia Investment Management Corp for $624.9 million, as it continues a push to sell up to $5 billion worth of assets this year to help cut debt. Glencore Agri would also take on $3.6 billion in debt currently funded by Glencore, the Swiss-based mining and trading firm said, helping to pare debt on Glencore's books. The debt would be financed without recourse to Glencore.

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After five lean years, gold miners gear up for growth 

For the first time in five years, Barrick Gold and other bullion miners are getting ready to expand, breaking from their monologue on cutting costs and debt because of tumbling gold prices. Backed by healthier balance sheets, a 17 percent rise in the price of gold since January to $1,244 an ounce and new investors, miners from Canada to Australia and South Africa are studying ways to raise production.

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Shell resumes Iranian oil purchases 

Royal Dutch Shell has resumed purchases of Iranian crude, becoming the second major oil firm after Total to restart trade with Tehran after the lifting of sanctions, trading sources said and ship tracking data showed. Iran has been trying to claw back its market share since international sanctions were lifted in January and regaining a major buyer such as Shell will further aid its cause.

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Brazil meat industry resorts to wheat as stopgap for scarce corn 

Brazil's troubled poultry and pork producers are resorting to feeding their animals wheat as an emergency substitute, a rare step for the industry as it struggles with the worst-ever shortage and record prices of corn, experts say. The practice, not seen in a decade by one of the world's largest animal protein industries, underscores how soaring local corn prices and an unexpected supply crisis are spilling over into other commodities markets and forced the industry to seek alternatives.

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Electric vehicles to power cobalt revival 

Cobalt prices may be on the threshold of a major revival due to flourishing demand for the mineral, a key component of lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars. Prices for cobalt metal are expected to rise 45 percent to above $16 a lb by 2020 from $11 now as stricter emissions controls boost demand for electric vehicles and push the market into deficit from this year, analysts said.

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COLUMN-No new Australian LNG projects doesn't mean no new LNG: Russell 

Conventional wisdom in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector is that no new projects will be built for several years, given the vast cost can't be reconciled with the current low prices. This view has led some in the industry to predict that the market will flip back to a structural shortage sometime in the early to mid-2020s, once again sending prices soaring as new supply takes so long to be built and become operational.

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Cheap Canadian gas imports may prolong U.S. energy industry's rout 

U.S. utilities and merchants are embarking on their biggest buying spree for Canadian natural gas since the start of the U.S. shale boom, taking advantage of record low prices and raising concerns about the U.S. industry's deepening crisis. Traders have been scooping up more gas from Canada, the world's fifth largest producer, in recent months after prices at the AECO hub in Alberta sank to a big discount to the U.S. benchmark.

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Rising drawdowns of Brazil robusta seen from exchange warehouses 

Drawdowns of Brazilian robusta coffee from ICE-approved warehouses are picking up steadily due to a very poor harvest in Brazil due to drought, European traders said on Wednesday. They said some of the drawdowns were likely destined to U.S. roasters who typically prefer Brazilian robusta, or conillon, to other origins such as top grower Vietnam.

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U.S. solar market to nearly double in 2016, led by utilities 

The U.S. solar energy market will nearly double new installations this year to 14.5 gigawatts, led by utility projects that developers scrambled to bring online in anticipation of the expiration of a key federal tax credit, according to a report published on Thursday. Solar installations rose 24 percent in the first quarter, accounting for 64 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity during the period, the report by GTM Research said.

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World oil reserves stable despite drop in investment -BP 

The world's oil reserves were unchanged in 2015 despite a sharp drop in investment and exploration after the collapse in crude prices, BP said in its benchmark industry report. Proven oil and gas reserves that can be technically pumped out of the ground typically fluctuate with oil prices as production becomes more or less economically viable.

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