Oil Product

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.

Dec 23 - Black box hedge funds lead winners from oil collapse
To make money from the sharp fall in oil prices this year, it helped if you weren't human. While a handful of big name traders have profited from some of oil's 35 percent plunge, it has been computer-based or "systematic" funds which have captured much of the spoils. click here.

 Dec 23 - Oil traders recall 2008 holiday bounce, but see no gift for bulls
At the tail end of 2008, the last time oil prices traded at $35 a barrel, some vacationing oil traders missed out on an abrupt $16 surge that helped define the bottom of a five-month, crisis-induced collapse. Few expect a repeat this holiday season, however, even as market liquidity has fallen by more than half, increasing the chances of a lurch in a thinly traded market. click here.

 Dec 23 - Tumbling oil erases decade of China-fuelled super cycle
Oil has shed two-thirds of its value since mid-2014 in a rout that essentially means gains from a decade-long commodity super-cycle have been wiped out -- as if China's unprecedented energy demand boom had never happened. Brent crude is at its lowest in over a decade, eclipsing losses from the 2008 global financial crisis, and most agree there is little chance of significant recovery in 2016. click here. 

Dec 23 - Shell says BG takeover works with oil price in low $60s
Royal Dutch Shell's proposed $53 billion takeover of rival BG Group will work even if future oil prices are in the low $60s a barrel, it said on Tuesday in announcing another $5 billion cut in spending next year to weather low oil prices. The company previously said the break-even oil price for the deal was $65 a barrel. click here.

 Dec 23 - S. Korea welcomes chance to diversify oil supply with U.S., Iran crude
South Korea is eager to increase the diversity of its oil suppliers by looking at U.S. and Iranian supplies as more exports from those countries become available, the South Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy said on Wednesday. The country welcomed the recent repeal of the 40-year-old crude export ban in the United States and the scheduled lifting of sanctions in Iran, the ministry statement said. South Korea is the world's fifth-largest crude importer and one of the major buyers of Iranian oil. click here.

Dec 22 - Amid energy rout, traders see profitable 2016 opportunities
Energy markets have spent most of 2015 in a tailspin and there are expectations that oil, coal and natural gas prices could fall further next year. Despite the rout, many still see opportunities for profitable trading beyond shorting a product on expectation of further price falls. click here.

 Dec 22 - Rosneft deepens ties with Trafigura with huge products deal
Swiss commodities trader Trafigura is expanding its ties with Russia's Rosneft and is set to become the biggest buyer from the sanctions-hit Kremlin oil major when it adds refined products to its already huge purchases of crude oil. Trafigura said it had agreed to buy additional volumes from Rosneft from January 2016, mainly refined products. click here.

 Dec 22 - Iran woos Indian refiners to drive oil sales in cut-throat market
Spurred by the prospect of an end to western sanctions, Iran has agreed to consider Indian demands for steep oil price discounts and other buying incentives, sources said, as it works to rebuild market share in a world awash with crude. Tehran's return to the market will deepen a global supply glut that has cut benchmark Brent crude prices by two-thirds since 2014, below the lows hit during the 2008 financial crisis and to levels last seen in 2004, leaving producers to battle for market share. click here.

 Dec 22 - Gunvor, Statoil consider joining latest resources transparency drive
Commodities trader Gunvor and the oil trading desks of Statoil and other energy firms are considering joining a global initiative aimed at shedding light on companies' dealing with governments of resource-rich countries. The latest transparency drive by the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative could lead to the disclosure of the billions of dollars in payments made between commodities traders and national oil companies of energy-rich nations such as Nigeria and Azerbaijan. click here.

 Dec 22 - Oil patch pain drives bargain-hunters to equipment auctions
In an auction room a few dozen potential bidders scan a picture of a used oil drilling rig projected on the wall while an auctioneer raises his voice to drum up enthusiasm. "If you came to this sale not looking for a rig you should be looking at it now," the auctioneer bellows into his microphone. Initial asking price on the rig - complete with water, mud and shale tanks - was C$150,000 and it eventually sold for C$52,500, a fraction of a cost of a new rig that can fetch between $7 million and $15 million. click here.

 Dec 22 - UK's Coryton oil storage to open in 2016 with global glut boost
The Thames Oilport terminal near London will open next spring, its operator Greenergy said on Monday, as a rising glut in oil supplies has made storage one of the industry's most attractive investments. Privately-owned Greenergy announced that it had increased its stake in the project, built on the site of the former Coryton refinery, after acquiring Dutch rival Vopak's 33.3 percent stake. Royal Dutch Shell remains the second partner in the project. click here.

Dec 21 - OPEC will stick to policy on no output cuts - Iraq's oil minister
OPEC will stick to its decision on Dec. 4 to maintain a policy of not limiting production, despite the drop in global prices, Iraq's oil minister said on Sunday, adding that any output reduction aimed at boosting prices would have to be coordinated with non-members. "‎We are in a real world, OPEC is not the only producer or the only player. So we have to see what the decisions of others should be - Russia and the United States and other producers," Adel Abdul Mahdi told Reuters on the sidelines of an Arab oil producers' meeting in Cairo. click here.

 Dec 21 - Saudi Arabia's oil exports rise to 7.364 mln bpd in Oct - JODI
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in October rose by 253,000 barrels per day from September to 7.364 million bpd, official data showed on Sunday. The oil exporting heavyweight maintained high output and pumped 10.276 million bpd in October, slightly higher than September's 10.226 million.click here.

 Dec 21 - At crunch time for U.S. drillers, warm weather threatens meltdown
Strapped for cash, Chesapeake Energy Corp cancelled its traditionally grand display of holiday lights this year, but like most oil and gas drillers it is still dreaming of a white Christmas. A mild North American winter could punish large drillers, especially gas giants like Chesapeake, by curbing seasonal demand for heating of homes and businesses and hurting prices. click here.

 Dec 21 - Libya's eastern oil company says signs shipment deal with Egypt
The state oil company of Libya's eastern government has signed a deal to sell 2 million barrels of crude to Egypt, a spokesman said, boosting its efforts to win exports even as most trading companies prefer to deal with the rival western government. The eastern government has for months been pushing to sell oil of its own without passing through the control of the Tripoli NOC and central bank in the west of the country, securing revenue from Libya's biggest natural resource. click here.

 Dec 21 - Congress kills U.S. oil export ban, boosts solar, wind power
The U.S. Congress voted on Friday to repeal the 40-year-old ban on exporting U.S. crude oil in an energy policy shift sought by Republicans as part of a bipartisan deal that also provided unprecedented tax incentives for wind and solar power. The Senate, on a 65-33 vote, approved lifting the ban and providing five-year extensions of tax breaks to boost renewable energy development as part of a $1.8 trillion government spending and tax relief bill that President Barack Obama quickly signed into law. click here.

Dec 18 - Shell calls for tougher regulation of Dubai oil benchmark
Anglo-Dutch oil company Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Thursday called for tougher regulation of the Dubai crude benchmark, the Middle East's most important oil-pricing mechanism, which has pushed up the region's prices relative to other grades. "Regrettably, there have been times in recent months where the price of Dubai (crude) was assessed well in excess of the fundamental refining value of other comparable Middle Eastern crudes," Shell said in a statement. click here.

 Dec 18 - Oil trader Andurand up 8 pct on year; sees $25 oil by March
Prominent oil trader Pierre Andurand is betting crude prices will fall, possibly below $25 a barrel, in the first quarter of 2016, and has told his investors in his hedge fund he was ramping up bearish bets. London-based Andurand Capital Management, which runs some $615 million, was up 8 percent in the year to Dec. 11, mostly from winning short bets on oil, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday. click here.

 Dec 18 - Drop in U.S. oil export ban will do little for crude- hedge fund Taylor Woods
Oil prices will likely be pressured rather than helped by the removal of a 40-year ban on U.S. crude exports as a global glut and limited chance of landing new buyers squeeze potential benefits, energy hedge fund Taylor Woods Capital said. The United States is on the brink of resuming its crude exports, ending a years-long fight brought about by a boom in domestic shale output that bloated global supplies. But traders in the opaque physical crude market say they cannot find any overseas buyers in a depressed price environment. click here.

 Dec 18 - Indian state oil firms in talks to buy stake in Siberia oil project- sources
Indian Oil Corp and Oil India are in talks with Russia's Rosneft to buy up to a 29 percent stake in a Siberian oil project, two sources said, as New Delhi accelerates a push to secure overseas energy assets. India, the world's fourth-biggest oil consumer, has to ship in three quarters of its oil needs and with oil prices close to their lowest since the global financial crisis has added incentive to seal purchases to limit import reliance. click here.

Dec 18 - Strong oil imports lift U.S. crude stocks near record: Kemp
U.S. crude oil imports have accelerated over the last four weeks, pushing commercial crude inventories within a whisker of the record set in April. Crude imports surged to 8.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, up from 7.0 million bpd four weeks earlier, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. click here. 

Dec 18 - Russia boosts oil sales in Asia, even as OPEC battles to win customers
Russian oil producers have strengthened their position in Asia by supplying nearly a quarter more crude this year, shifting the balance of power in one of the few bright spots in the global market and blunting OPEC's high-profile drive to win customers. Aided by a weak rouble and new pipelines, Russia has replaced Iran as a top five supplier to Asia, boosting sales 23 percent to 1.3 million barrels per day in the first 11 months of 2015 from a year ago, according to data compiled by Reuters based on trade flows and customs information.  

Dec 17 - OPEC producers bearish on oil in 2016 as oversupply persists
OPEC producers see little chance of significantly higher oil prices in 2016 as extra Iranian production could add to surplus supplies and the prospect of voluntary output restraint remains remote.OPEC delegates, including those from Gulf OPEC members, say higher oil prices are not around the corner yet, despite further growth in global demand and as a rise in non-OPEC supply is tempered by prices that have more than halved in 18 months. click here.

 Dec 17 - U.S. on verge of lifting 40-year oil export ban
The United States appears on the brink of ending a four-decade ban on most exports of crude oil, which would end a years-long fight brought about by a boom in domestic shale output that contributed to a supply glut and depressed prices. The measure is part of a sprawling deal wrapped up by congressional leaders late on Tuesday to keep the U.S. government open through September. The $1.15 trillion spending bill, negotiated in secret talks over the last two weeks, would be difficult for President Barack Obama to veto despite his opposition to ending the oil export ban. click here.

 Dec 17 - As U.S. Congress lifts oil export ban, traders
With the end of the U.S. oil export ban approaching, traders of physical crude have been scouring the globe and poring over shipping rates to exploit what they hope will be the biggest new arbitrage in years: selling domestic crude abroad. The trouble is, they can't seem to make the math work; and analysts say it could be months if not years before U.S. crude flows to foreign markets in any significant volume. click here.

 Dec 17 - U.S. crude stocks rise unexpectedly on strong imports - EIA
U.S. crude stocks rose last week on strong volumes of imports into the U.S. Gulf Coast, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday, surprising analysts who expected inventories to decline. Total crude inventories rose by 4.8 million barrels in the latest week, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 1.4 million barrels. click here.

 Dec 17 - Fuel oil supply from West into Asia to rise sharply in Jan
Fuel oil supply from the West into Asia is expected to rise more than 27 percent to at least 4.5 million tonnes in January, up from December shipments estimated at 3.6 million tonne as traders in Europe and the Atlantic seek to clear inventories.
Although figures based on cargo arrivals range from 4.5 million tonnes to 5.5 million tonnes, most traders agree that January inflows will be notably higher than in the previous month.  click here.

 Dec 17 - Biodiesel tax credit move roils biofuel credit, soyoil markets
News that U.S. lawmakers were poised to renew a tax credit for fuel blenders of biodiesel roiled markets on Wednesday, pressuring soyoil futures and prices of biofuels credits as it stoked expectations of heavy imports. Members of Congress agreed after the close on Tuesday on funding and tax deals that would extend a $1-per-gallon credit to fuel blenders in 2016 and retroactively for 2015, denying a bid to give the credit to domestic producers of the biofuel that would have made imports less competitive. click here.

Dec 16 - Heavy Iraq crude has limited appeal for U.S. Gulf Coast buyers
Sellers of a new grade of Iraqi oil are competing fiercely to win market share on the U.S. Gulf Coast, though high sulfur content has limited appeal for refiners of the crude, known as Basra Heavy. Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization began selling the crude with an API gravity of about 23 degrees in May after separating it from the Basra Light stream to resolve quality and consistency issues and reach new customers. click here.

 Dec 16 - Tighter North Sea crude supply forces shift in swaps curve
Supply disruptions and Asian demand have shielded the North Sea crude oil market from some of the aggressive selling affecting other regional grades and have pushed swap prices for prompt barrels to their biggest premium over further-out deliveries in six months. Derivatives used by traders of physical crude oil to manage their price risk, or contracts for difference, can offer a steer on the balance of demand and supply of physical barrels. click here.

 Dec 16 - For oil traders' contango, Fed could trim profits by one tenth
Big oil traders cashing in on a market that rewards storing oil and waiting will see their hefty profits shrink if the U.S. central bank raises rates this week. The U.S. Federal Reserve's likely decision to hike interest rates by 25 basis points on Wednesday would raise the financing cost of holding oil in storage, potentially cutting profits on such 'contango' trades by as much as a tenth, analysts and traders say. click here.

Dec 16 - Diesel tankers make U-turn in mid-Atlantic as Europe stocks swell
Tankers laden with diesel heading from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Europe are turning around in mid-ocean as European storage is nearly filled to the brim. At least three 37,000 tonne tankers - Vendome Street, Atlantic Star and Atlantic Titan - have made U-turns in the Atlantic ocean in recent days and are now heading back west, according to Reuters ship tracking. click here.

 Dec 16 - Crude glass half full? Oil prices could rise sooner than expected
Even with a global glut in oil supplies set to last well into 2017, indications are emerging that a recovery in prices could get underway sooner rather than later. Oil prices have fallen by two-thirds since mid-2014 to trade near 11-year lows below $40 a barrel and most analysts don't expect them to regain the $100 mark until 2017 or later, arguing that producers will continue to pump out more crude than is demanded. click here.

 Dec 16 - OPEC says low oil price won't continue, may rise within a year
Global crude oil prices at seven-year lows will not continue and could swing upwards in as little as a year, OPEC Secretary-General Abdullah al-Badri said on Tuesday, as the low-price cycle leads to cuts in output from some producers. Oil prices have fallen by about two-thirds since mid-2014, with Brent crude on Monday flirting with its lowest level since 2004 at just above $36 a barrel. click here.
 

Dec 16 - Mexico's oil auction beats expectations despite oil price plunge
Mexico's oil regulator awarded the first 20 onshore contracts in an auction on Tuesday despite slumping crude prices, part of a tender aimed at boosting new Mexican oil companies following a historic sector reform finalized last year. The number of contracts awarded have already far exceeded the government's modest expectations for the auction. The country's oil regulator has estimated that the auction of all 25 contracts on offer could ultimately attract about $1 billion in total investment. click here.

Dec 15 - As oil plunges, traders generate record earnings
Oil traders are profiting handsomely from a crude price crash to near an 11-year low, even as it forces energy companies around the globe to slash costs and postpone projects. From listed giant Glencore through unlisted Swiss privately-held Trafigura, to the trading desks of majors BP and Shell, traders have often done well in times of oil price downturns, and markedly so this time around. click here.

 Dec 15 - U.S. oil price gap vanishing for first time in shale era
The once-deep discount for benchmark U.S. crude oil prices versus global rates is about to disappear for the first time since the rise of the shale oil boom, a sudden reversal that highlights the market's ongoing flux. On Monday, U.S. West Texas Intermediate for delivery in March settled just 6 cents below global Brent crude for the same month, the narrowest gap since 2010. It was trading at more than $1 a barrel two days ago. click here.

 Dec 15 - S.Korea Nov Iran crude oil imports down 30 pct y/y
South Korea's crude oil shipments from Iran fell around 30 percent in November from a year ago, with imports in the first eleven months of 2015 dropping 2.7 percent and meeting sanction requirements over Tehran's nuclear programme. The world's fifth-largest crude importer brought 395,132 tonnes of Iranian crude in November, or 96,544 barrels per day(bpd), compared with 567,611 tonnes a year ago, preliminary data from its customs office showed on Tuesday. click here.

 Dec 15 - Shell sees more job cuts as BG deal gets China green light
Royal Dutch Shell expects to slash thousands more jobs to save costs if its takeover of BG Group goes through as planned early next year following a final green light from China. The acquisition, which was announced on April 8 and is biggest in the sector in a decade, has been cleared by China's Ministry of Commerce, Shell said on Monday, after earlier approvals from Australia, Brazil and the European Union. click here.

 Dec 15 - Trafigura posts record earnings on larger oil volumes, volatility
Commodities trading firm Trafigura reported record core earnings on Monday as it racked up oil trading volumes and increased its metals business while profiting from extreme market volatility. The firm's posted record core earnings (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) of $1.861 billion between September 2014 and September 2015, up from $1.299 billion a year earlier. click here.

Dec 15 - Hedge funds add to record bearish positions in oil: Kemp
Rather than taking profits, hedge funds continued to add to their record bearish positions after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) failed to reach agreement on a production target at the start of the month. By Dec. 8, hedge funds and other money managers had accumulated short positions in the main WTI and Brent futures and options contracts equivalent to 364 million barrels. click here.

Dec 15 - Iran crude exports on track to hit 6-month high in Dec –source
Iran's crude oil exports are set to hit a six-month high in December as buyers ramp up purchases in expectation that sanctions against the country will be lifted early next year. Iran is on track to ship 1.26 million barrels a day (bpd) of crude this month, according to an industry source with knowledge of the OPEC member's tanker loading schedule. click here.

Dec 14 - China Nov commodities output weak as refinery runs hit record
China's output of key industrial commodities including coal and steel remained weak in November amid chronic oversupply as slowing construction demand took its toll. The world's second-biggest economy has been hit by weak demand at home and abroad, factory overcapacity and challenges posed by its transition to a consumption-led growth model from one reliant on investments. click here.

 Dec 14 - With oil hedges rolling off, US shale producers face stiff test
Cash-strapped U.S. shale oil producers are facing another sharp sell-off in a 18-month-old crude slump with reduced hedging protection, risking a severe hit to earnings if prices fail to recover. A Reuters analysis of hedging disclosures from the 30 largest oil producers showed the sector as a whole reduced its hedge books in the three months to September. click here.

 Dec 14 - IEA sees oil glut worsening as demand growth slows
Global oil markets will remain oversupplied at least until the end of 2016 as demand growth slows and OPEC output booms, putting oil prices under further pressure, the International Energy Agency said on Friday. The IEA, which advises developed nations on energy policies, said the global oil glut was set to worsen in the months to come as additional supplies from Iran - when and if Western sanctions on the country are removed - would push more oil into storage. click here.

 Dec 14 - Dow, DuPont set $130 bln megamerger, could spark more deals
Chemical titans DuPont and Dow Chemical Co have agreed to combine in an all-stock merger valued at $130 billion in a first step towards breaking up into three separate businesses, a move that pleased activist investors and could trigger more consolidation. The "deal of three centuries," as Wells Fargo analyst Frank Mitsch dubbed it, combines two of the biggest and oldest U.S. chemical producers and will generate cost and tax savings. click here.

 Dec 14 - Oil industry's nightmare is dream come true for European drivers
Europe's drivers are in for a winter treat as plummeting oil prices and a surplus of distillates are set to pressure diesel pump prices that are already at six year lows. Oil firms and commodity-reliant nations are smarting from tumbling oil futures, which hit fresh seven year lows near $39 per barrel on Friday following the failure of oil cartel OPEC to impose a production ceiling at its meeting last week. click here.

 Dec 14 - U.S. oil export ban 'very likely' to be lifted in spending bill - source
The 40-year-old ban on most U.S. crude oil exports will "very likely" be lifted in the government spending bill, and talks on the final budget deal are likely to continue through the weekend, a Senate aide said on Friday. The aide did not want to be identified due to the ongoing nature of the talks. click here.

Dec 11 - OPEC points to larger 2016 oil surplus as group's output hits multi-year high  
OPEC pumped more oil in November than in any month since late 2008 and forecast little increase in demand for its crude next year, pointing to a larger supply surplus even as low prices hurt rival producers.The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in a report also forecast supply from non-member countries will fall more sharply next year, which would suggest its strategy, reaffirmed last week of defending market share, is working. click here.

 Dec 11 - Oil producers offset fall in prices by raising output: Kemp
The first response of commodity producers to a drop in prices is normally to increase production ensuring price falls become deeper and more prolonged.Producers attempt to make up in volume what they have lost in prices. But what might be rational for one is disastrous collectively. click here.

 Dec 11 - Zombies appear in U.S. oilfields as crude plumbs new lows
Drained by a 17-month crude rout, some U.S. shale oil companies are merely hanging on for life as oil prices lurch further away from levels that allow them to profitably drill new wells and bring in enough cash to keep them in business.The slump has created dozens of oil and gas "zombies," a term lawyers and restructuring advisers use to describe companies that have just enough money to pay interest on mountains of debt, but not enough to drill enough new wells to replace older ones that are drying out. click here.

 Dec 11 - U.S. gasoline margins at highest levels seasonally since 2012
U.S. RBOB gasoline crack spreads rose on Thursday to their highest levels seasonally since 2012, on concerns that refiners would cut runs as mild winter forecasts suggested weak demand for distillates.The RBOB crack, an indicator of profit margins for refining crude into gasoline, settled up $2.55 at $17.12 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The diesel crack spread dipped by 0.32 to $14.55 a barrel, the lowest in five years. click here.

Dec 10 - Yamani legacy haunts the oil market: Kemp
“All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs,” wrote British politician Enoch Powell.Saudi Arabia’s veteran Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi may wonder if he is destined to become the scapegoat for the current collapse in oil prices which is inflicting so much damage on the kingdom’s finances and economy. click here.

 Dec 10 - Dow, DuPont soar on prospect of $130 bln merger 'Christmas present'
A potential marriage of chemicals titans Dow Chemical and DuPont would draw intense scrutiny from regulators in the United States and other countries, but Wall Street welcomed the reported merger talks, lifting shares of both companies by 12 percent.Dow rallied to a record and DuPont was on track for its biggest daily gain in seven years as investors expressed astonishment at a possible $130 billion combination of the longtime rivals. click here.

 Dec 10 - Biggest 2016 risk may be the one just behind us: oil
The biggest financial risk in 2016 may be the one that's been on stage all year.In Britain's popular Christmas pantomime shows, audiences scream out "He's behind you!" as a warning to the hero whenever the villain appears. click here.

 Dec 10 - North Dakota boosted oil output ahead of OPEC meeting
North Dakota's oil producers boosted output in October to sell as much as possible ahead of last week's OPEC meeting, bucking an industry trend to scale back because of low crude prices.The increase in the state, as well as parts of Texas and other U.S. oil fields, shows nationwide production may be more resilient than expected. But analysts and regulators caution that output could slip going into the new year as global supply exceeds demand. click here.

 Dec 10 - U.S. oil stocks fall for first time since September - EIA
U.S. crude oil stocks fell last week, breaking a streak of 10 straight weeks of builds, while distillate inventories soared, dampening a brief rally in crude futures, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.Crude inventories fell 3.6 million barrels in the week to Dec. 4, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 252,000 barrels.  click here.

Dec 09 - Oil's plunge hammers U.S. funds, humbles even savviest investors  
The plunging price of crude oil is causing pain at every kind of U.S. mutual fund this year, humbling even the industry's best portfolio managers as their mistimed bets in the energy sector continue to cause losses for investors.The sector's bottom has been more of a trap door for many fund managers. On Tuesday, for example, U.S. crude futures fell below $37 a barrel for the first time since early 2009. click here.

 Dec 09 - Saudi's Naimi cuts a lonely figure in oil battle
If Ali al-Naimi were to review his time as Saudi oil minister, he might feel events had turned full circle.Two years after the long-serving technocrat's 1995 promotion to become only the kingdom's fourth oil minister in 40 years, Naimi pushed through an ill-fated Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries deal in Indonesia to lift supply just as Asia went into economic tailspin. click here.

 Dec 09 - China's record fuel exports are bearish for oil markets: Russell
It's tempting to view the growth in China's crude oil imports this year as mainly a result of increased strategic stockpiling, but that overlooks the rising importance of refined product exports.The stockpiling matters to crude oil markets as every barrel put into storage is ultimately positive for demand, as that barrel is effectively consumed insofar as it is taken out of the market. click here.

 Dec 09 - China ramps up commodity exports as domestic glut grows
Chinese commodity producers struggling with excess output and hurt by sinking prices looked abroad at a record rate last month to find markets for products including aluminium, refined fuels and steel, data showed on Tuesday. China's refineries shipped a record amount of fuel products, aluminium processors sold their second-highest tonnage of product and steelmakers increased exports by 22 percent to 102 million tonnes in the January-November period, setting a new record, according to preliminary customs data. click here.

 Dec 09 - Dow Chemical and DuPont in merger talks - sources
Dow Chemical Co and DuPont are in talks to merge, creating a chemicals giant with a market value of more than $120 billion that could then break up into different businesses, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.A deal, which would face regulatory approval in several countries, would allow the two U.S. companies to rejig their assets based on their diverging fortunes. Their plastics and specialty chemical businesses have benefited from lower energy costs, while their agrochemicals divisions have struggled to cope with weak demand for crop protection products. click here.

Dec 08 - As oil slides fast to near 7-year low, crude options stay calm
Oil derivatives markets are keeping a cool head on the prospect of a free fall toward $20 a barrel early next year, even as options traders scramble to lock in near-term protection against a scenario of crude at $35 a barrel or less.Options traders swooped up large volumes of January and February $35 put options on Monday as U.S. and Brent futures cratered to their lowest since early 2009 after OPEC's policy meeting broke up in acrimony last week. click here.

 Dec 08 - EU drops Shell, BP, Statoil from ethanol benchmark investigation 
EU antitrust regulators have dropped Shell, BP, and Statoil from an investigation into suspected rigging of ethanol benchmarks, focusing instead on three producers of the biofuel. The European Commission said on Monday it had opened a formal antitrust investigation into the actions of Spanish company Abengoa SA, Belgium's Alcogroup SA and Lantmännen ek för of Sweden. click here.

 Dec 08 - Investors brace for oil price "lower for even longer" after OPEC
Investors are betting on the oil price staying lower for even longer after OPEC's decision to ditch a formal production ceiling, pushing U.S. crude futures for delivery nearly 10 years away below $60 a barrel.This could possibly harm the ability of U.S. shale producers, among the casualties of OPEC's strategy of pumping hard to retain market share, to lock in profitable prices for future deliveries. click here.

 Dec 08 - Stalled Nigerian oil law broken up, new draft splits state giant
Nigeria's government is breaking up an all-encompassing oil bill that has been stuck in parliament for years, replacing it first with a law to overhaul the state sector which aims to close loopholes that bred corruption, according to a draft seen by Reuters. Under the draft legislation, the state oil giant NNPC will be split in two - rather than a series of units as envisaged by the stalled 2012 bill - including a National Oil Company that will be run on commercial lines and partly privatised. click here.

 Dec 08 - Oil torn between fundamentals and hedge fund positions: Kemp
Successful trading rule No.1: do not enter any significant position until you have worked out an eventual exit strategy. Rule No.1 is especially important if the position is large relative to the overall market or a large number of traders are all trying to put on the same position at the same time because the position could strain available liquidity. click here.

Dec 07 - Saudi-Iran rivalry sets scene for OPEC showdown over output
It used to be said of OPEC that it was like a teabag – it only worked in hot water. If that is so, conditions on world oil markets could hardly be more difficult as prices languish at almost seven-year lows near $40 a barrel.Yet, rather than closing ranks, OPEC is finding that an intensifying battle for market share, worsened by deep regional differences between Saudi Arabia and Iran, is driving it further apart. click here.

 Dec 07 - Amid commodity rout, Noble sees bright spot in oil trading
For Noble Group, a decades-old commodities firm whose founder started out in scrap metal yards, 2015 has been an unusually scrappy year. The Hong Kong-based group, Asia’s largest merchant trader of raw goods, has seen its earnings and stock price hurt by plunging metals values and a report that questioned its bookkeeping. Amid the carnage in commodity markets, Noble says it has been on a roll in oil markets. Its traders, who focus on arbitrage in physical fuel and crude markets, have persevered as oil prices fell to six-year lows and some counterparties imposed more burdensome credit requirements on Noble. click here

Dec 07 - U.S. shale oil producers pummeled after OPEC decision
Fears low oil prices will persist for years sent shares of U.S. crude producers tumbling on Friday after OPEC failed to agree on a unified output cap, effectively letting its 13 members pump at will under a policy aimed in part at squeezing out U.S. rivals. OPEC ministers, who control a third of the world's oil supply, ended their meeting in Vienna on a discordant note, unable to decide as a group how much it should pump in aggregate. click here.

 Dec 07 - China vaults to top buyer of U.S. ethanol in October as imports soar
China's purchases of U.S. ethanol soared to 32.6 million gallons in October, its biggest-ever monthly volume, pushing imports from the United States so far this year to a hefty 43.5 million gallons, U.S. government data showed on Friday.That could mean China ends the year as the sixth-largest market for U.S. ethanol after vaulting to the top importer spot in October, past more typical buyers like Canada, Brazil and the Philippines. click here.

 Dec 07 - China expected to double strategic oil purchases next year
China is likely to double its strategic crude oil purchases next year as one of the biggest ever price routs spurs a buying spree that would offer some support to battered markets for the commodity.Beijing will add 70-90 million barrels of crude to storage tanks in 2016 to build up its strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), according to most respondents in a poll of five analysts and data collected by Reuters analysts. click here.

Dec 04 - OPEC set for policy rollover, no sign of Saudi cut plan -sources  
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will likely decide to roll over oil production at its meeting on Friday, sources said, with Saudi Arabia telling other members it has no intention of floating a proposal for curbing output.Three OPEC delegates and sources said the group would maintain output without changing the current ceiling of 30 million barrels per day (bpd), sticking with its plan to defend market share rather than shore up prices at near seven-year lows. click here.

 Dec 04 - China's Iran deal shows OPEC members are cutthroat competitors: Russell
China's renewing of its oil purchase deals with Iran not only provides a boost to the Islamic Republic's hopes of re-establishing itself in global markets, it also underscores why this week's OPEC meeting is largely irrelevant.The market consensus is that Friday's gathering of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) won't produce any significant change in the group's output policy. click here.

 Dec 04 - Oil traders get closer look at what might prompt Saudi rethink
Saudi Arabia has given oil traders the first glimmer of clarity on what it might take to prompt the world's biggest crude exporter to change course on policy, suggesting that its laissez faire attitude may be wearing thin.The Energy Intelligence newsletter reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia is considering proposing that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) cuts output next year by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) and has determined participants and volumes on which a deal would depend -- a surprise move that would be the Kingdom's first definitive proposal since prices collapsed. click here.

Dec 04 - Oil storage business is booming: Kemp
Oil producers may be struggling as a result of low prices but the oil storage business has never been in better shape.U.S. refiners, traders and logistics companies added an extra 11 million barrels of working storage capacity for crude oil between March and September, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. click here.

 Dec 04 - U.S. diesel margins dip to five-year low on high stocks, weak demand
U.S. diesel fuel margins dipped to five-year lows this week, pulled down by weak demand and growing inventories, and traders said the situation could worsen in the weeks ahead as refineries continue to flood the market with supplies. Refiners are hesitating to throttle back production of diesel and other distillate fuels because they are still chasing healthy margins in gasoline, traders said. One byproduct of producing gasoline is distillates, a factor lifting inventories that have weakened diesel margins, traders said. click here.

Dec 03 - Iran renews oil contracts with China, taps new buyers  
Iran is taking steps to ramp up oil exports ahead of an end to U.S.-led sanctions, extending crude contracts with its top two Chinese buyers into 2016 and starting talks with other potential buyers there, sources involved in the talks said. Previously OPEC's No.2 exporter, Iran is keen to recoup oil market share lost during U.S. and European Union sanctions over its nuclear programme and is aiming to boost oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) - equal to about 50 percent of current exports - in early 2016. click here.

 Dec 03 - Saudis seen rejecting calls for OPEC cuts as rivals pump more
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies will reject calls from fellow OPEC members to cut oil output, Iran said on Wednesday, two days before the group meets amid falling prices and a worsening global glut."It is unlikely that these countries voluntarily cut their output," Iran's OPEC governor Mehdi Asali told Iranian news agency Shana. Iran is preparing to ramp up output after an expected lifting of Western sanctions on Tehran next year, and wants OPEC to accommodate the new volumes. click here.

 Dec 03 - Oil options show investors grow warier of OPEC surprise
Oil investors are paying more to bet on a rise in the price of crude than on a decline for the first time in six weeks, as they prepare for the possibility of a surprise from OPEC, which is due to release its supply policy decision on Friday.Hedge funds have cut bullish bets on crude oil to their lowest in five years, with gloom deepening over the global economy's ability to grow fast enough to absorb the world's excess supply. click here.

 Dec 03 - Saudi cut light crude price to Asia less than expected on strong margins
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia cut the January price for most of the crude grades it sells to Asia by a smaller extent than expected, a sign that it took into greater consideration strong refining margins in Asia.However, the producer raised the official selling price (OSP) for Arab Extra Light on robust naphtha margins, against expectations of a price cut because of weakness in the Dubai crude benchmark. click here.

 Dec 03 - Russia says it has proof Turkey involved in Islamic State oil trade
Russia's defence ministry said on Wednesday it had proof that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his family were benefiting from the illegal smuggling of oil from Islamic State-held territory in Syria and Iraq.Moscow and Ankara have been locked in a war of words since last week when a Turkish air force jet shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian-Turkish border, the most serious incident between Russia and a NATO state in half a century. click here.

Dec 02 - OPEC set for tough meeting, further price fall feared - sources
OPEC is heading for a tough meeting this week, delegates and officials said on Tuesday, as country members pump record volumes amid an uncertain demand outlook and as the prospects of a U.S. inter‎est rate hike could push oil prices even lower."It will be tough," one OPEC source said, referring to the meeting in Vienna on Friday, which is widely expected by OPEC insiders and watchers to stay the course and roll over existing output policies. click here.

 Dec 02 - Michelle Patron: What a climate deal means for oil markets
Over the next two weeks countries from around the world are convening in Paris to develop a global plan to address climate change. A successful deal in Paris could have significant impacts for energy and equity markets.In many ways, the heavy lifting for Paris has already occurred. Learning from failed past attempts to impose global rules, governments have developed a more flexible bottom up approach. Under the new system, each country puts forward its own nationally determined plan based on what it believes it can achieve over the next 10-15 years. More than 150 countries -- developed and developing, energy exporters and importers -- have already submitted these plans, covering over 90 percent of global emissions. click here.

 Dec 02 - Green investors take note: climate-focused mutual funds dabble in oil
Several of the world’s biggest climate-focused mutual funds have stakes in traditional oil and gas companies mixed in with their solar, wind and clean tech holdings, a potential shock to green investors seeking to avoid fossil fuels altogether.Six of the 20 biggest funds that mention "climate change" or "global warming" in their titles or marketing materials have oil and gas stocks, including two funds with investments in companies proposing new pipelines from Canada's carbon-intensive oil sands reserves, according to Reuters data. click here.

 Dec 02 - Middle East oil price benchmark is patched up, full fix elusive: Russell
Has enough been done to boost the liquidity, and more importantly, the confidence of participants in the benchmark Middle East crude pricing system?Oil-pricing agency Platts said on Nov. 18 it will add in two more grades of crude oil to its Oman/Dubai benchmark from January 2016, a move that will double the liquidity of the assessment that is used to price about 12 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude that flows to Asia. click here.

Dec 01 - OPEC set to include Indonesian output, hope of non-OPEC talks fade
OPEC is set to debate a technical increase of its production ceiling later this week to accommodate returning member Indonesia, delegates said on Monday, while hopes of a meaningful dialogue with rival non-OPEC members all but faded. Indonesia asked OPEC this year to renew its membership, aiming to benefit from closer ties with oil producers. Some in the cartel say that Indonesia can offer insights in to oil consumers' views as it is now a net oil importer. click here.

 Dec 01 - Oil price predictions for 2016 lower still
Depressed oil prices are likely to linger longer as analysts dropped their predictions further for next year, according to a Reuters poll, assuming OPEC will not cut output when it meets on Friday. The average price forecast for benchmark North Sea Brent crude futures for 2016 at $57.95 a barrel is 57 cents below last month's poll, the survey of 31 analysts showed. click here.

 Dec 01 - Europe-bound diesel diverted to stronger Asian market
Diesel cargoes which had planned to discharge in a heavily-supplied Europe have recently been redirected to Asia where the strong demand and refinery outages have constrained supplies. The reverse in flows is likely to lead to a weakening in Asian diesel refining margins but is not expected to change the picture for Europe as markets struggle with a sharp increase in global diesel refining capacity, traders said. click here.

 Dec 01 - U.S. oil output in September down for third straight month – EIA
U.S. oil production fell in September for the third month running, according to government data released on Monday, a sign that persistently low prices and less drilling are helping slow an oil production boom. Output in September fell to 9.326 million barrels per day, down 20,000 from 9.346 million bpd in August, according to the Energy Information Administration's Petroleum Supply Monthly report. click here.

 Dec 01 - U.S. oil companies' restructuring plans founder as prices plunge
When Samson Resources Corp filed this year's biggest energy-related bankruptcy in September, the oil and gas company said it had a deal to emerge from Chapter 11 protection by year-end. Just a few weeks later, plunging gas prices had left the deal in tatters. Samson joins about a half dozen troubled energy producers that have sought court protection from creditors this year and discovered asset values have evaporated or that a restructuring plan has unraveled as commodity prices plunge. click here.

Nov 30 - OPEC officials question upbeat outlook ahead of policy meeting
OPEC officials questioned an upbeat forecast from the group's researchers in a meeting ahead of next week's gathering of oil ministers, with some sceptical there will be a quick easing of the supply glut in 2016.The comments point to a less jubilant mood in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, whose oil ministers meet to set policy on Dec. 4, than during their last meeting in June. Oil has fallen to $45 a barrel on oversupply concerns compared to $65 last time. click here.

 Nov 30 - Carbon prices - work in progress, not panacea, for rich and poor
It was supposed to be the way the market would cut greenhouse gases by itself: governments selling companies permits-to-pollute, which they could trade among themselves. Over time, the number of permits would be reduced, and the cost to companies of failing to cut emissions would rise.Yet, 10 years after the EU launched the world's biggest carbon trading scheme, the effectiveness of the concept is in question and climate activists are disenchanted or hostile.  click here.

 Nov 30 - In rare move, Sinopec offers refineries bonus to export surplus diesel -sources
China's Sinopec Corp is offering its subsidiary refineries big incentives to export their diesel fuel, sources said, in a rare move that reflects the top Asian refiner's deepening concerns about a growing domestic glut.The internal bonus scheme marks the latest step by the state-owned refiner to battle local oversupply of the industrial fuel as slowing economic growth curbs diesel use in mining, construction and transportation. click here.

Nov 27 - Saudi Aramco to invest more in Indonesia's oil and gas sector
Saudi Aramco is looking for further investment opportunities in Indonesia's downstream refining and petrochemicals industry, the company's CEO said on Thursday, after initiating a $5.5 billion project to upgrade the country's largest refinery.The Saudi Aramco CEO's comments are positive for Indonesian President Joko Widodo's efforts to attract investment after a clean-up of the country's oil and gas sector that followed a series of scandals.  click here.

 Nov 27 - Glencore sees Tripoli-based NOC as sole legal seller of Libyan oil
Commodities trader Glencore said on Thursday it recognises Libya's Tripoli-based National Oil Corp. (NOC) as the sole legal marketer of the country's oil, after securing an export deal earlier this year with the state-run company.The Tripoli-based NOC has said it operates independently of either the rival government that controls the capital city or the internationally recognised government based in the east of the country, which earlier this year set up a separate NOC. click here.

 Nov 27 - As climate conference looms, investors struggle to factor the environment in
If anyone needed proof of the link between the environment and investment, they need only look at the likely billions of dollars that auto giant Volkswagen looks set to pay in fines and compensation for making its cars appear greener than they are. And yet, with a U.N. climate summit in Paris set to promote a switch to a low-carbon economy, data from the U.N. body urging investors and asset managers to give more weight to non-financial considerations, including the environment, shows a patchy response, at best. click here.

Nov 26 - Canadian Oil Sands in early-stage talks with potential bidders
Canadian Oil Sands, which is trying to attract a white knight following a hostile bid from Suncor Energy, needs more time to review options as more than two dozen parties have expressed an interest, according to a regulatory filing.An affidavit submitted to the Alberta Securities Commission by RBC Capital Markets, which has been hired by Canadian Oil Sands to help review options, said "four highly credible parties" have already signed confidentiality agreements. click here.

 Nov 26 - U.S. ethanol output tops 1 mln bpd as industry awaits EPA mandates
U.S. ethanol production topped 1 million barrels per day for the first time last week, data showed on Wednesday, ahead of a government deadline to issue a plan for the country's hotly debated biofuels program.The largest boost in production rates since May showed U.S. ethanol makers capitalizing on a recent uptick in profit margins, five traders and analysts said, as the industry awaited policy direction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expected on or by Nov. 30. click here.

Nov 25 - OPEC to stay the course despite fears of $20 oil
OPEC is determined to keep pumping oil vigorously despite the resulting financial strain even on the policy's chief architect, Saudi Arabia, alarming weaker members who fear prices may slump further towards $20.Any policy U-turn would be possible only if large producers outside the exporters' group, notably Russia, were to join coordinated output cuts. While Moscow may consult OPEC oil ministers before their six-monthly meeting next week, the chances of it helping to halt the price slide remain slim. click here.

 Nov 25 - China's teapot oil refineries set to export fuel for the first time - sources
Beijing will allow independent refineries to export refined fuel next year for the first time, sources said, freeing up 20 percent of China's refining capacity for sales abroad as the government aims to cut a local glut and boost investment.The move will allow independent refineries, also known as "teapots" such as Dongying Yatong Petrochemical and Panjin Beifang Asphalt Fuel, to enter the lucrative international market for the first time, raising concerns about a fresh flood of excess diesel and other fuels into Asia. click here.

 Nov 25 - Mexico's Pemex to refine record low level of crude oil in 2015
Mexico's state oil company Pemex will process the lowest amount of crude this year in at least a quarter century, internal refining plan documents seen by Reuters show, as plant outages and other inefficiencies continue to batter margins.The decline is a double blow, as it means the national oil giant will likely struggle to compete in the upcoming liberalization of Mexico's retail oil sector and the country will probably have to buy more gasoline from U.S. refiners, unless it can significantly improve operations. click here.

 Nov 25 - As crude oil swells, volatility-hungry traders turn to refined products
In a world overflowing with oil, traders are looking to once-secondary markets such as gasoline and diesel for profits, as limited supplies and rapidly changing demand offer the volatility they thrive on.In recent months, surprise shutdowns at relatively small refineries or extreme weather conditions have led to spikes in prices of gasoline and other products - allowing traders to cash in by filling the shortage or making a bet on paper price movements.  click here.

Nov 25 - Fire erupts at Mexico's biggest oil refinery, some hurt
A fire broke out at Mexico's biggest oil refinery on Tuesday and some staff were evacuated, a spokesman for state-run oil company Pemex said, the latest in a string of incidents to hit the company's refineries.The Red Cross said nine people were injured, while Pemex said eight people suffered minor injuries and were being treated. click here.

Nov 24 - Saudi Arabia says ready to work with others to stabilise oil market 
Saudi Arabia's cabinet said on Monday it was ready to cooperate with OPEC and non-OPEC countries to achieve market stability, days before OPEC meets to review its year-long policy of not supporting prices.Oil prices jumped $1 a barrel after the comments, even though they repeated what Saudi Oil Minister Ali Naimi said in a speech last week. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries meets on Dec. 4. click here.

 Nov 24 - Bearish bets on Brent crude oil at a high - ICE
Investor are betting more heavily on a fall in Brent crude oil than they have at any time in more than a year, according to data on Monday from the InterContinental Exchange (ICE).Hedge funds and other money managers raised their short positions by 27,734 contracts to 141,387 lots in the week to Nov. 17, according to the data, the largest number of short positions since October 2014. click here.

 Nov 24 - Stein's law says oil prices will rise: Kemp
 “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop,” according to Herbert Stein, former chief economist to U.S. President Richard Nixon (“What I think: essays on economics, politics and life” 1998).Stein’s law is one of the most simple but important statements in economic theory, yet it is remarkable how often it is forgotten. click here.

 Nov 24 - Pertamina, Aramco to move closer to JV with $5 bln refinery upgrade plans
Pertamina and Saudi Aramco are expected this week to take a major step in forming a joint venture that will include a $5 billion upgrade to Indonesia's largest refinery complex, a director at the Southeast Asian firm said.The move will be a victory for Indonesian President Joko Widodo, who has launched sweeping energy reforms since taking office last October to improve the image of the country's graft-tainted oil sector and restore investor confidence in Southeast Asia's biggest crude producer. click here.

 Nov 24 - Hedge funds turn very bearish on U.S. crude: Kemp
Hedge funds and other money managers had amassed short positions in U.S. crude oil amounting to 154 million barrels by last Tuesday according to data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).Short positions have increased more than 70 percent since the middle of October and stand at the highest level since August, the CFTC showed in its latest commitments of traders report published on Friday. click here.

 Nov 24 - Big funds in rare bearish turn on gasoline, record diesel shorts
Big funds have turned bearish on U.S. gasoline prices for only the third time in at least a decade, and expanded short diesel positions to a record high, on bets that a yearlong crude glut may spill into fuel markets.Managed money gasoline positions on the New York Mercantile Exchange turned net short last week for the third time since the Commodity Futures Trading Commission began collecting the data in 2006, according to the latest Commitment of Traders report. click here.

Nov 23 - Glencore seals Libyan oil deal in scramble for profits
Trading house Glencore has secured a deal to buy as much as half of the oil Libya is currently exporting, market sources said, as it looks to boost trading to help offset flagging profits from mining.For war-torn, cash-strapped Libya it offers steady sales to international buyers and shifts to Glencore the risks associated with loading oil and chartering vessels at ports where operations have become more unpredictable due to the conflict in the north African nation.  click here.

 Nov 23 - Weakening crude spreads put more strain on U.S. oil's $40 support
A surprisingly abrupt breakdown in U.S. crude oil spreads this week has strengthened some traders' conviction of a decisive move below $40 a barrel, extending the early winter price slump.As traders rushed to dump expiring December West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures on Friday, rather than take delivery in Cushing, Oklahoma, where storage space is dwindling, the spread versus the second month widened to as much as $2.90 a barrel, the most since 2011. click here.

 Nov 23 - Scant signs of Russia-OPEC output cut deal ahead of Vienna meeting
There is little likelihood Russia will work with OPEC on cutting oil output ahead of or on the sidelines of a meeting of the exporter group in Vienna next month, officials and industry insiders say.OPEC made a historic policy shift late last year, led by Saudi Arabia and backed by its Gulf allies, and refused to cut production to prop up sliding prices in order to defend market share. The group confirmed the strategy at a meeting in June. click here.

 Nov 23 - Should we worry as oil stocks hit 3 billion barrels? Kemp
Nearly 3 billion barrels of crude petroleum and refined products are being stored by oil firms in the advanced economies according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).Commentators have seized on the 3 billion figure as a shorthand way to convey how oversupplied the oil market has become. click here.

 Nov 23 - Hedge funds slash bullish oil bets to Aug lows as stockpiles swell
Hedge funds cut their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil this week to the lowest level since August, data showed on Friday, amid fear that domestic oil stockpiles were nearing April record highs.Money managers, including hedge funds, held 16 percent less net longs in crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange during the week to Nov. 17 compared with a week earlier, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. click here.

Nov 20 - Oil traders prepare for next big price drop in March 2016
Oil traders are preparing for another downward turn in prices by March 2016, market data suggests, as what is expected to be an unusually warm winter dents demand just as Iran's resurgent crude exports hit global markets after sanctions are ended. Crude futures have already lost around 60 percent of their value since mid-2014 as supply exceeds demand by roughly 0.7 million to 2.5 million barrels per day to create a glut that analysts say will last well into 2016. Goldman Sachs said on Thursday that there was a substantial risk of a "sharp leg lower" in oil prices. click here.

 Nov 20 - Tanker rate spike dents efforts to store oil glut at sea
Record  high freight rates are creating more headaches for traders looking to house millions of barrels of unsold crude oil and who already face potential losses due to record high stocks. They have to decide on whether to use tankers for longer term storage until they can sell their cargoes, or dump them at even more discounted prices in order to keep wells running. click here.

Nov 19 - Kurdish oil reaches Baltic, targets Russian markets
Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has begun targeting Baltic crude markets in north-western Europe, rivalling traditional Russian supplies and increasing an oil glut in the region, trading sources said and shipping data showed. At least three vessels with Kurdish oil arrived in the Baltic ports of Gdansk in Poland and Butinge in Lithuania in October-November, traders told Reuters. click here.

 Nov 19 - U.S. crude stocks inch toward record high; distillates draw down
U.S. crude stockpiles inched up higher towards record highs last week, but the rise was below analysts' expectations, while distillate inventories fell as seasonal demand has begun to set in, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.Crude inventories  rose 252,000 barrels to 487.3 million barrels in the week to Nov. 13, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.9 million barrels. click here.

Nov 18 - How Kurdistan bypassed Baghdad and sold oil on global markets
Iraq's semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan has for the first time detailed its secretive oil exports operations and said it plans to sell more, whether Baghdad likes it or not, as it needs money to survive and fight Islamic State. The region's minister for natural resources, Ashti Hawrami, said that to avoid detection oil was often funneled through Israel, transferred directly between ships off the coast of Malta, and decoy ships used to make it harder for Baghdad to track. click here.

 Nov 18 - Platts to add new Mideast crude grades to Dubai price marker in 2016
Oil pricing agency Platts is expected to announce by the end of this year which of two Middle East crude grades it will add to its Dubai benchmark in 2016 to boost the liquidity of its price assessment process, sources with knowledge of the matter said. Platts has already made two changes since late October in an ongoing review of its assessment of the Dubai benchmark, which, along with Oman, is used to price more than 12 million barrels per day of Middle Eastern and Russian crude exported to Asia.  click here.

 Nov 18 - TransCanada to raise dividend, add C$13 bln of new projects
TransCanada Corp  said it expects to raise its dividend and bring C$13 billion ($9.76 billion) of new small and medium-sized projects into service by the end of 2018, following the rejection of its Keystone XL crude pipeline. Canada's second largest pipeline company said on Tuesday at an investor day in Toronto that it anticipates increasing its common share dividend at an average annual rate of 8 to 10 percent through 2020. click here.

Nov 17 - Struggling U.S. oil producers get credit lifeline amid downturn
An autumn credit crunch was expected to hit many independent U.S. oil producers, starving the industry of billions of dollars and further denting company budgets and drilling plans. But banks that adjust their loans to energy companies every six months based on the oil price and volumes of reserves were more lenient than many expected this time, leaving producers with more cash for drilling and allowing them to supply more oil to a market already flush with excess crude. click here.

 Nov 17 - Brazil prosecutors say bribes paid in Petrobras Texas refinery deal
Brazilian police and prosecutors investigating corruption at Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Monday they have evidence that bribes were paid as part of the state-run oil company's $1.2 billion purchase of Pasadena Refining Systems Inc in 2006.  At a news conference announcing a new round of searches, seizures and arrests, federal prosecutor Carlos Fernando dos Santos Lima said the bribes related to the U.S. Gulf Coast-based refinery could lead to the cancellation of the purchase. click here.

 Nov 17 - Iraq oil deal, gas finds, could help Egypt become energy export hub
Increased domestic energy production in coming years could allow Egypt to re-export Iraqi oil as part of a larger plan to become an energy export hub, Egypt's petroleum minister Tarek El Molla told the state news agency on Monday.  El Molla's comments came a day after Egypt signed an agreement with Jordan and Iraq to allow Iraqi crude oil and natural gas to flow through Jordan and into Egypt, potentially for re-export to European markets click here.

 

Nov 16 - Global risks bolster gold, oil after Paris attacks
Gold and oil edged up in nervous trading on Monday following the deadly attacks on Paris and large-scale French airstrikes in Syria, although broader commodities markets remain weak on poor fundamentals. Gold, typically seen as a safe haven in times of heightened risk, jumped about 1 percent as Asian shares and U.S. stock futures fell, while the euro skidded to a 6-1/2 month low. Oil prices edged higher, but copper slipped to a six-year low. click here

Nov 16 - Japan's JX, TonenGeneral in merger talks amid push for refinery consolidation
Japan's largest oil refiner JX holdings Inc  is in talks to merge with rival TonenGeneral Sekiyu two people with knowledge of the matter said on Monday, potentially creating a company that will control more than half of a market in long-term decline. JX, with a market value of about 1.15 trillion yen ($9.4 billion), has already held talks with TonenGeneral, which is worth about half as much, the sources said, declining to be identified as the matter remained confidential. click here.

 Nov 16 - Unsold oil stuck on tankers threatens world market gridlock
As land storage sites worldwide reach brimming point due to a supply glut, tens of millions of barrels of oil are sitting on tankers looking for homes - threatening logistical paralysis. The International Energy Agency on Friday said stored oil has hit 3 billion barrels. Traders say the excess of crude is leaving tankers queuing at major ports worldwide, lengthening waiting times to days, weeks and even months. click here.

 Nov 16 - North Dakota oil well backlog eclipses 1,000 for first time
The number of oil wells in North Dakota that have been drilled but not fracked eclipsed 1,000 for the first time in September, as producers delayed turning them on in hopes crude prices  will soon recover. The milestone, which was widely expected around the second-largest oil producing state, highlights the immense cost pressure companies have come under in the past year as crude prices have dropped more than 50 percent. click here.

 Nov 16 - Gains for oil storage spike; record premium for Dec 2016 WTI
The premium for storing U.S. crude for one year over crude for immediate delivery has hit record highs as a global glut and weak prices prompts traders to delay oil sales, Reuters charts showed on Friday. The December 2016 contract for U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was trading at nearly $7.70 a barrel above December 2015 by 1:39 p.m. EST (1839 GMT).  click here.

 Nov 16 - Watch the spreads: oil prices tumble before year-end: Kemp
Crude oil prices sold off heavily on Wednesday and Thursday, with front-month Brent futures falling more than 7 percent to the lowest level more two and half months. Prices slumped amid growing concerns about continued oversupply in the market, the build up of inventories and the possibility of storage space running on land and forcing more oil to be stored expensively at sea. click here

Nov 13 - OPEC sees oil surplus shrinking in 2016, but underlines current glut 
OPEC said its oil output fell in October and forecast supply from rival producers next year would decline for the first time since 2007 as low prices prompt investment cuts, reducing a global supply glut.In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said it pumped 31.38 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, down 256,000 bpd from September. That is the first decline since March, according to OPEC figures. click here.

 Nov 13 - Surge in options shows bet on further oil price falls into 2016
Oil traders have shifted to hold a more bearish outlook on crude prices this year and into 2016, with data showing the number of sell options taken out at $40, $35, $30 and even $25 a barrel has jumped in the past four weeks.Benchmark U.S. crude futures were trading at $41.50 per barrel on Friday, not far off 2015 lows and more than 15 percent below levels reached after a rally starting in August had stirred market expectations that a price rout starting in June 2014 may be ending. click here.

 Nov 13 - Hurting Canadian oil producers signal further cuts to come
Canadian energy companies, especially those at higher cost oil sands producers, are signalling they will cut capital spending for a second straight year in 2016 as they adjust to a painful new reality of oil near $40 a barrel.Energy executives, coming off a bleak third-quarter earnings season and due to roll out capital budgets in coming weeks, were in a grim mood even before the United States last week rejected TransCanada Corp's proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would have been key in boosting exports of heavy oil from the landlocked oil sands. click here.

 Nov 13 - U.S. shale oil output will be less resilient than gas: Kemp
U.S. natural gas production hit a new record in August, despite the deepening slump in gas prices and a fall in the number of rigs targeting gas formations.The failure of gas production to respond to lower prices and a falling rig count has left many analysts wondering if it heralds the same problem in the oil market - worsening oversupply. click here.

 Nov 13 - U.S. crude stocks up for 7th week; imports, distillates rise
U.S. crude stocks rose last week as imports jumped, while swollen gasoline stocks decreased and distillates unexpectedly rose as refiners hiked output, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Thursday.Crude inventories rose by 4.2 million barrels to 487 million in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.0 million barrels. Stockpiles have now risen for seven consecutive weeks, nearing a record high above 490 million barrels touched in April. click here.

 Nov 13 - Brazil oil strikers say Petrobras offer lacking, seek meeting
Leaders of Brazil's main oilworkers' union said on Thursday that a contract offer from Petrobras falls short of their demands and sought a meeting with the company's chief executive officer to discuss their requests.Meanwhile the 12-day strike will go on, said FUP, as Brazil's largest oilworkers union federation is known, in a statement. click here.

Nov 12 - Venezuela says 'informal' OPEC chat planned before Dec meeting
Oil ministers of OPEC nations will hold "candid, informal" talks on Dec. 3, a day before the group's formally scheduled meeting in Vienna, Venezuela's oil minister said on Wednesday, adding the idea was suggested by Saudi Arabia."It's an informal meeting where we're going to speak in a very frank way about the market situation, and we're going to speak frankly about production levels in each country," Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino told Reuters in a phone interview. click here.

 Nov 12 - Partner in Canada's Energy East struggled with pollution controls
Irving Oil, the company seeking to become the gatekeeper for a new crude oil pipeline from western Canada to the Atlantic Ocean, has struggled to control air pollution at its existing marine terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick.Irving Oil records reviewed by Reuters show the vapor recovery equipment at the terminal on the edge of the province's largest city was shut 37 percent of the time between December 2012 and March 2015 due to near-constant mechanical problems, as millions of barrels of gasoline were loaded onto ships mainly bound for New England. click here.

 Nov 12 - Fuel oil looks overvalued ahead of Chinese demand drop: Russell
What will happen to all the fuel oil that used to be bought by small Chinese refiners?The market expectation for some time has been that the smaller, independent Chinese refiners, often referred to as teapots, will buy less fuel oil and more crude as the authorities in Beijing relax restrictions on the feedstock they are allowed to import. click here.

 Nov 12 - Iran to face bumpy re-entry into global oil tanker market
Even after Western sanctions are lifted, Iran's oil tanker fleet is expected to face more hurdles before many of the vessels can start trading again due to insurance hiccups and tougher requirements over sea worthiness by potential foreign clients.Iran's main tanker operator NITC remains blacklisted by the United States and European Union since 2012, meaning it's unable to secure foreign insurance or international classification services, which certify ships have met safety and environmental standards necessary to get access to most ports. click here.

Nov 11 - Oil majors press Iran for sweeter oil terms post-sanctions 
Iran will have to offer lucrative contracts terms to draw back international oil companies at a time when the oil industry is more focused on profitability as it gears up for a longer period of low oil prices, executives said on Tuesday. Iran said in September it had approved a draft of international oil and gas contracts to attract foreign investors and oil buyers once international sanctions are lifted but has not provided details so far. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

 Nov 11 - Oil price to rise only gradually to $80 by 2020 - IEA
Oil is unlikely to return to $80 a barrel before the end of 2020 despite unprecedented declines in investment, as yearly demand growth struggles to top 1 million barrels per day (bpd), the International Energy Agency said on Tuesday .In its World Energy Outlook, the IEA said it anticipates demand growth under its central scenario will rise annually by some 900,000 bpd to 2020, gradually reaching demand of 103.5 million bpd by 2040. click here.

 Nov 11 - Fuel oil looks overvalued ahead of Chinese demand drop: Russell  
What will happen to all the fuel oil that used to be bought by small Chinese refiners?The market expectation for some time has been that the smaller, independent Chinese refiners, often referred to as teapots, will buy less fuel oil and more crude as the authorities in Beijing relax restrictions on the feedstock they are allowed to import. click here.

 Nov 11 - Anadarko approached Apache with offer that was rejected - source
U.S. oil and gas exploration and production company Anadarko Petroleum Corp has approached Apache Corp with a potential acquisition as low crude oil prices prompt companies to seek merger partners, according to a person familiar with the matter. The prolonged slump in crude oil prices has stirred talk of consolidation among U.S. shale companies, however so far no mega deals have been struck as bids and offers remain wide apart and financing is still available for most producers as they try to stay independent. click here.

Nov 11 - U.S. to see deeper decline in 2016 domestic oil output - EIA
U.S. oil production will fall more than expected next year after a surprisingly strong performance in 2015, while demand will be a tad weaker than forecast a month ago, the U.S. government's energy arm said on Tuesday. In its short term energy outlook, the U.S. Energy Information Administration revised down its 2016 production forecast to 8.77 million bpd, a reduction of 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared to last month's outlook. As a result, output is expected to fall by 520,000 bpd rather than 390,000 bpd. click here.

Nov 10 - Saudi Arabia sees robust oil fundamentals as rival output falls 
Long-term oil market fundamentals remain robust but prolonged low prices could threaten security of supply and pave the way for a price spike, Saudi Arabia's vice oil minister said on Monday.The world's largest crude exporter will continue investing in its oil and gas sector, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said in a speech at an Asian energy conference in the Qatari capital Doha. click here.

 Nov 10 - Crude oil rises after OPEC says market to be balanced in 2016
Oil prices rose on Tuesday after the head of OPEC forecast a more balanced market next year and the U.S. energy department said domestic output is likely to fall further, though gains were limited as the overall picture of a market in glut remains.U.S. crude rose 28 cents to $44.06 a barrel by 0409 GMT, after falling about 1 percent on Monday to $44.15 for a fourth consecutive decline. click here.

 Nov 10 - Tanker ship futures market booms as rates rally
The market for hedging oil tanker freight has revived sharply this year to a value of $4.5 billion after years of torpor, with ship owners looking to profit from a freight rally and more energy companies scramble to cover risk, industry sources say.Cheap oil bargain hunters after the price drop and refineries, which have been operating at unusually high levels to meet rising demand, have helped tanker markets experience their best earnings in years after a long period of losses. click here.

Nov 09 - Oil price faces fresh downturn as Russia, Saudi tussle in Europe
A sales push by Saudi Arabia into north Europe's refineries, a step into rival Russia's backyard, piles fresh pressure on oil prices already struggling against oversupply. Stung by Russia's success in supplanting it in the giant Chinese market, Riyadh has embarked on a charm offensive in Europe, cutting its prices for December by more than it has in any other region to their lowest since 2009 during the financial crisis. click here.

 Nov 09 - Obama rejects Keystone XL pipeline in win for greens
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday rejected the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada in a victory for environmentalists who campaigned against the project for more than seven years."The pipeline would not make a meaningful long-term contribution to our economy," Obama told a press conference. He said it would not reduce gasoline prices, and shipping "dirtier" crude from Canada would not increase U.S. energy security. click here.

 Nov 09 - Hedge funds hike bullish bets on U.S. crude, betting on 'forward rally'
Hedge funds raised their bullish wagers on U.S. crude this week by the most in six months, data showed on Friday, as speculators bought into oil contracts in forward months on the bet market fundamentals will take time to improve.Money managers held 20 percent more net longs in crude oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange during the week ended Nov. 3 compared with a week earlier, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed. click here.

 Nov 09 - U.S. shale producers see big budget cuts for 2016
U.S. shale oil producers, having slashed fat from 2015 budgets after a 50-percent drop in crude prices, risk cutting to the bone next year as they pare spending further and get ready for a prolonged downturn.Top shale companies including Devon Energy Corp, Continental Resources Inc  and Marathon Oil Corp this week released preliminary 2016 plans for capital spending that may fall by double digits. click here.

Nov 06 - OPEC unlikely to cut in December without non-OPEC -Gulf delegate 
OPEC is likely to stick to its no-cut oil output policy when it meets in December if major producers from outside the group are not willing to help in reducing supplies, a senior Gulf OPEC delegate said on Thursday.Oil prices are under pressure as crude and refined products inventories are higher than the five-year average, but that is likely to improve next year, the Gulf delegate told Reuters. click here.

Nov 06 - U.S. crude overtakes Brent in S&P commodity index rebalance
A widely watched commodity index is returning the U.S. crude benchmark to the top of its weightings table, just a year after allowing Europe's Brent oil benchmark to dominate, the firm managing the index said on Thursday.The elevation of the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude benchmark within the 24-commodity S&P GSCI index comes amid higher liquidity for the contract, index manager S&P Dow Jones Indices said. click here.

Nov 06 - TransCanada to build only one Energy East oil export terminal
TransCanada Corp said on Thursday it has scrapped plans to build a port in Quebec and will have only one crude oil export terminal for its proposed Energy East pipeline, a possible setback for the controversial project.The move comes days after TransCanada asked the U.S. State Department to pause its review of the company's long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, a request that Washington turned down amid speculation President Barack Obama will ultimately reject the pipeline. click here.

Nov 06 - Junk-rated and oil and gas loans worry U.S. bank regulators
Banks' exposure to junk-rated companies and the oil and gas sector remains high, according to an annual report on loan quality by U.S. bank regulators released Thursday.The regulators gave a negative classification to $372.6 billion out of $3.9 trillion in loans impacted by the review, or 9.5 percent of the loans. Classified loans increased 9.4 percent from a year earlier. click here.

Nov 05 - U.S. will not pause Keystone review; Obama expected to reject
The United States formally denied a request on Wednesday to pause the review of the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, a decision expected to lead to the project's rejection by the Obama administration.TransCanada Corp's request to the State Department for a delay was seen by many as an attempt to postpone the decision until after President Barack Obama left office and a new president more friendly to the plan took over in 2017. click here.

 Nov 05 - OPEC confidential report sees market share squeeze to 2019
Global demand for OPEC's crude oil will remain under pressure in the next few years, the producer group said in an internal report, potentially fuelling a debate on its strategy of defending market share rather than prices.The draft report of OPEC's long-term strategy, seen by Reuters, forecasts crude supply from OPEC - which has an output target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) - falling slightly from 2015's level until 2019, unless output slows faster than expected in rival producers. click here.

Nov 05 - China's high-octane appetite a hint of 2016 global oil demand
China's thirst for high-octane gasoline is a bright spot for European refiners and offers a taste of global oil demand growth next year.While U.S. gasoline demand traditionally eases after the peak summer driving season, Chinese buying of blending components used to upgrade gasoline to high-quality Euro V standard has remained strong, helping to power a recovery in cracks despite widespread expectations of a crash. click here.

 Nov 05 - Oil bull Hall acknowledges high stockpiles but says prices low
Renowned oil bull Andy Hall has acknowledged the reality of high and growing U.S. crude stockpiles but insists the market is still underpriced, as his hedge fund posted a slight gain in October from higher crude prices.Hall's Astenbeck Capital Management in Southport, Connecticut, gained 2.5 percent last month, matching October's gains in benchmark Brent crude, performance data sent to Astenbeck investors and seen by Reuters on Wednesday showed. click here.

Nov 05 - U.S. crude oil stocks build on strong output despite import drop - EIA 
U.S. crude oil inventories rose for a sixth straight week as domestic production increased, outweighing a drop in imports to the lowest level since 1991, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.Crude inventories rose 2.8 million barrels in the week to Oct. 30, in line with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll. click here.

Nov 04 - Despite gloom, four U.S. shale oil firms lift output views 
A handful of U.S. shale oil producers are pushing up their production forecasts, saying efficiency gains from drilling in prime rock are helping them eke out more crude in the middle of the worst price crash in six years.The slightly bolder outlooks this week from Oasis Petroleum Inc, Devon Energy Corp, Pioneer Natural Resources Co  and Diamondback Energy Inc show that the confident swagger that typified the U.S. shale boom's early days has yet to be fully tempered by the more than 50 percent drop in oil prices  since last year. click here.

 Nov 04 - Obama to rule on Keystone despite builder's plea for delay President Barack Obama wants to rule on the long-pending Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of his presidency, the White House said on Tuesday, calling a request by the project's Canadian developer to delay a review "unusual."Obama, who has increasingly focused on environmental issues as his presidency nears its final year, plans to decide on TransCanada Corp's pipeline before he leaves office in 2017, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters. click here.

Nov 04 - Shell says can make BG deal work despite weak oil price
Royal Dutch Shell sought to ease investor concerns over its planned $70 billion takeover of BG Group on Tuesday, announcing further benefits and cost cuts aimed at making the deal work with an oil price in the mid-$60s a barrel.The Anglo-Dutch group, which hopes to complete the deal early next year, said it now expected savings to increase by $1 billion to $3.5 billion for the combination which will make Shell a leader in liquefied natural gas (LNG) and offshore oil production in Brazil. click here.

 Nov 03 - Keystone XL oil pipeline in doubt as U.S. asked to pause review
The Canadian company behind the proposed Keystone XL pipeline on Monday asked the U.S. government to suspend review of the $8 billion project that sparked a political war between environmentalists and the oil industry, a move that could put its fate in the hands of the next U.S. president.TransCanada Corp's  move was seen by many as an attempt to avert a rejection from an increasingly environmentally focused President Barack Obama and postpone the decision until after the November 2016 presidential election. click here.

 Nov 03 - OPEC squabbles over oil price, maximizing revenue in strategy report
Internal OPEC squabbles are on the rise as members argue about the need to support a fair oil price and boost revenues just as they feel more pain from low crude prices, an internal OPEC report seen by Reuters this week showed.A draft report of OPEC's long-term strategy (LTS) carries annotations by Iran, Algeria and Iraq, and suggestions from Iran and Algeria for measures to support prices such as a price target or floor and a return to OPEC's quota system. click here.

 Nov 03 - Saudi Arabia to raise Dec crude prices to Asia -trade
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is likely to raise the prices of most crude grades it sells to Asia in December on a stronger Dubai benchmark and better fuel oil margins, traders said on Monday.The OPEC kingpin could raise the December official selling price (OSP) for flagship Arab Light by 30-60 cents a barrel from a month ago, a survey of six refiners and analysts showed. click here.

 Nov 03 - Oil traders scouting further afield for NY diesel storage
Oil traders are scouring the East Coast for places to store surplus diesel supplies, including on tankers just outside New York harbor, as prompt prices trade at their deepest discounts since the financial crisis.Kinder Morgan, which operates roughly 165 storage terminals from Los Angeles to New York, has received interest from traders looking to lease storage space beyond New York harbor, according to a source familiar with the company's operations. click here.

Nov 02 - Oil bears hesitate to put on shorts in whipsaw market
Oil market bears want to believe Goldman Sachs' forecast that crude could hit $20 a barrel. But many have been hesitant to make that bet.U.S. data on Friday showed that money managers had expanded their short positions in oil futures in the latest week by the largest amount since July. However, in six of the last eight weeks, net long positions had increased.  click here.

 Nov 02 - Iran to announce oil output rise at next OPEC meeting -Shana
Iran will officially notify producer group OPEC in December of its plans to raise its crude oil output by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd), the Iranian oil minister said on Saturday."We...ask them to respect the 30-million-barrel ceiling which they have agreed," Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by Shana, the ministry's news agency. "Iran is prepared to supply at least 500,000 bpd of crude oil to global markets," he added. click here

Nov 02 - Bad timing: Big Oil ramps up output just as prices sink
After years of declining output, major oil companies have ramped up crude production this year, just as they are being battered by a plunge in prices due to already excessive supplies.Executives have taken pride in seeing billions worth of investments in new technologies and new fields in places such as Brazil, the North Sea and West Africa kick in and boost output. click here

 Nov 02 - Bloomberg commodity index puts Brent above WTI for first time Bloomberg on Thursday increased the rating of Brent crude oil in its 2016 Bloomberg Commodity Index (BCOM), putting it ahead of West Texas Intermediate for the first time, and cut the weighting of gold.BCOM is tracked by $65 billion worth of invested funds, the company said. That compares to the more than $200 billion for the 24-commodity tracker S&P GSCI  by Dow Jones. click here. 

Nov 02 - Volatility and flash events in the oil market: Kemp
Crude oil prices have been more volatile this year than at any time since the financial crisis of 2008/09 and before that 1991, according to standard measures of price variability.Some of the increase in volatility is more apparent than real, however, as every $1 per barrel move translates into a larger shift in percentage terms now that prices have halved from $100 per barrel to less than $50. click here.

 Nov 02 - OPEC-fueled oil glut to offset waning U.S. output
Slowing U.S. production is unlikely to offer much respite to low oil prices into next year as high OPEC output feeds a persistent supply glut, a Reuters survey showed on Friday.Benchmark North Sea Brent crude is expected to average $58.52 a barrel in 2016, marginally down from last month's poll and above $55.94 seen so far this year, the survey of 32 analysts showed. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Oct 30 - Big U.S. shale oil savings fast becoming a thing of the past
Huge cost savings are waning for U.S. shale oil companies, marking an end to the drastic price cuts on equipment and services over the past 16 months that helped them survive the worst industry downturn in six years. Companies including Anadarko Petroleum Corp, ConocoPhillips and Occidental Petroleum Corp have saved millions on drilling and fracking wells in Texas, Colorado and North Dakota since the oil price slide started by demanding that oilfield service companies slash prices by 20 percent to 30 percent or more. click here.

 Oct 30 - Glencore shrinking its $18 bln commodity inventory mountain
Commodities mining and trading giant Glencore is reducing its $18 billion inventory pile, industry sources say, a move ratings agencies say could help assuage concerns about its balance sheet. The biggest player in the secretive commodities trading industry to hold a public share listing that requires it to disclose its accounts, Glencore has been battered by the global downturn in commodities prices. click here.

 Oct 30 - Oil industry slipping into the red as outlook dims
The oil sector is gradually slipping into the red after years of fat profits as the slump in oil prices and a grim outlook bite deeper. The world's top oil companies have struggled in recent months to cope with the halving of oil prices since June 2014, cutting spending repeatedly, making thousands of job cuts and scrapping projects. click here.

 Oct 30 - Bloomberg commodity index puts Brent above WTI for first time
Bloomberg on Thursday increased the rating of Brent crude oil in its 2016 Bloomberg Commodity Index, putting it ahead of West Texas Intermediate for the first time, and cut the weighting of gold. BCOM is tracked by $65 billion worth of invested funds, the company said. That compares to the more than $200 billion for the 24-commodity tracker S&P GSCI by Dow Jones. click here.

Oct 29 - Iraq unseats Saudi Arabia as top crude supplier to India for third month
Iraq overtook Saudi Arabia as the top crude exporter to India in September for the third time in 2015, according to tanker data obtained by Reuters, as the two biggest OPEC producers battle for market share in leading Asian buyers. Saudi Arabia also lost its top spot in China last month, with Russia overtaking the world's biggest crude exporter as the main supplier for the second time this year. Traders attributed the shift to a hike in Saudi's official selling price of crude. click here.

 Oct 29 - Iran total oil loading hits 7-month low in Oct - shipping source
Iran's exports of crude oil and condensate dropped to a seven-month low this month, hit by refinery maintenance and a lull in demand ahead of winter, according to an industry source with knowledge of the nation's tanker loading schedule. Still, loadings of the light oil condensate grade were robust - the second highest for the year - due to Iran's attractive pricing relative to other producers, the source said. click here.

 Oct 29 - In a world awash with oil, inland Europe runs dry with the Rhine
While the world grapples with overflowing oil, Europe is struggling to refill its inland tanks as a result of a decidedly old world problem that could torpedo any recovery in oil prices - lack of rain. Stubbornly low water levels are disrupting barge traffic on the Rhine, threatening car drivers in Switzerland and oil producing behemoths such as Saudi Arabia alike as the supply backlog runs down storage tanks inland, but swamps coastal oil terminals with unwanted petrol and other cheap fuels. click here.

 Oct 29 - U.S. crude stocks build; product drawdown supports market
U.S. crude stocks rose last week, while gasoline and distillate inventories fell more than expected, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday, boosting the oil futures markets. Crude inventories rose 3.4 million barrels to 479.96 million in the week to Oct. 23, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 3.4 million barrels. click here.

Oct 28 - BP shrinks again to weather extended oil slump
BP announced a third round of spending cuts and more asset sales over the coming years on Tuesday to tackle an extended period of low oil prices and help pay for its $54 billion U.S. oil spill settlement. The British oil and gas company, which has already sold nearly $50 billion in assets since the deadly 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill, said it expected an additional $3-5 billion of divestments in 2016. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Oct 28 - Oil cargoes bought for state reserve stranded at China port – sources
About 4 million barrels of crude oil bought by a Chinese state trader for the country's strategic reserves have been stranded in two tankers off an eastern port for nearly two months due to a lack of storage, two trade sources said. The delays will cost millions of dollars and indicate how China is struggling to import record amounts of crude if storage and port capacity at Qingdao, its largest oil import terminal, are unable to keep pace. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

 Oct 28 - Forget VW: Oil slump more to blame for weak U.S. diesel demand
Long before Volkswagen AG's emissions scandal spelled bad times for diesel, U.S. consumption of the fuel was bafflingly weak. Despite surprisingly robust economic growth, rising truck cargo, and pump prices that fell to parity with gasoline for the first time in six years, U.S. diesel use rose by only 0.2 percent in the first seven months of the year. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

 Oct 28 - Iraq's southern oil exports head for another record in October
Iraq's southern oil exports have risen to 3.10 million barrels per day so far in October, according to loading data and an industry source, setting shipments from OPEC's second-largest producer on course for a monthly record. The boost is an indication of continued high output from major members of the the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has added to a global surplus and contributed to downward pressure on prices. click here.

 Oct 28 - Saudis looking at raising domestic energy prices - oil minister
Saudi Arabia is looking at raising domestic energy prices, Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said on Tuesday, confirming that the kingdom could cut a lavish system of subsidies blamed for waste and surging fuel consumption. Asked on the sidelines of a mining conference whether he expected domestic energy prices to increase in the near term, Naimi told reporters: "What you are asking is: is it under study? And the answer is yes.” click here.

 Oct 28 - Americans to see lowest heating bills in years due to fuel glut
After shelling out about $1,000 a month to heat his 190-year-old Massachusetts bed and breakfast during a harsh winter last year, Brian Weinrich is hoping for some relief this season. By all accounts, he should get it. Americans are likely to see their lowest heating bills in years thanks to a glut in the domestic fuel supply and predictions of milder winter weather, forecasters and regional fuel dealers say, a welcome outlook after record snowfalls and repeated price spikes over the past two seasons. click here.

Oct 27 - Some US bond funds bet on high-yield survivors of oil carnage
High-yield energy bonds are on track for their worst year since the global financial crisis yet some funds are holding on, convinced that markets underestimate the ability of many oil companies to ride out the crude price slump. Some money managers such as Western Asset Management Co., Eaton Vance Corp. and Aberdeen Asset Management have broadly held on to their investments in bonds of oil and gas producers throughout the year even as now they lag more than 95 percent of their peers, according to Morningstar data. click here.

Oct 27 - U.S. diesel demand flat as freight growth slows : Kemp
U.S. diesel consumption has been flat this year after growing strongly in 2013 and 2014, mirroring a slowdown in inland freight movements and the worldwide slowdown in the raw materials sector. Diesel consumption measured by the Energy Information Administration's data on distillate supplied is closely correlated with freight movements measured by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics' transportation services index. click here.

Oct 27 - Platts to shorten Mideast crude oil bid-offer timing
Oil pricing agency Platts said on Tuesday it will shorten the time for market participants to repeat bids or offers after a trade during a process used to assess Middle East crude prices. The change, one of two proposed to improve liquidity for Platts' crude benchmarks in Asia, comes after a month's consultation with the industry. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here. click here.

Oct 26 - Governments shouldn't count on low oil prices: IEA
Countries shouldn't bank on oil prices remaining low when formulating their energy policies, as supplies could tighten from mid-2016 due to a drop in investment and falling U.S. output, a senior industry official said on Monday. Global oil prices have more than halved since June 2014 on rising U.S. shale oil output and as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries decided not to cut production and instead defend market share.click here.

 Oct 26 - As oil industry bleeds jobs, Asia's green energy drive offers bright spot
Renewables are powering a rare bright spot in the energy industry, with record job hiring in solar, wind and hydro partly offsetting the biggest round of job losses in the oil and gas sector in almost two decades. The boom in new green jobs is being led by Asia where governments in countries such as China and India are embarking on massive programmes to use more renewable energy. click here.

 Oct 26 - Traders scramble to unload Cushing crude as oversupply fears return
U.S. oil traders scrambled on Friday to sell off crude barrels in Cushing, Oklahoma, on renewed concerns about imports and heavy refinery turnarounds, sending the discount for front-month futures to levels not seen since the market feared the storage hub would reach capacity. On Friday, the sell-off at the delivery point for U.S. crude futures sent the prompt West Texas Intermediate contract to a 91-cent discount to the second-month contract, its deepest level since May. On Thursday, it settled at a 74-cent discount. click here.

 Oct 26 - Green incentives seen as key to lifting U.S. oil export ban
Legislation crawling its way through Congress that would end the U.S. ban on crude oil exports will succeed only if tied to renewable energy incentives, said Senator Heidi Heitkamp, a moderate Democrat working to convince others in her party to support ending the decades-old restrictions. Heitkamp, who represents oil giant North Dakota, said she is convinced her bill or a similar one can pass by the end of the year, though getting the White House and others on board will require some kind of financial support for wind, solar and other renewable energies, energy efficiency and water conservation funds. click here.

Oct 23 - Top oil traders wary of tapping their war chests
The world's biggest oil traders are sitting on a war chest worth billions of dollars, but are reluctant to embark on a spending spree, because the pool of available assets is either too pricey or simply not for sale. Vitol, Mercuria, Trafigura and Gunvor, the four privately-owned houses that traded nearly a billion tonnes of raw materials last year, have all said they are open to opportunities, but not at any price. click here.

Oct 23 - Australia oil, gas deals heat up with billion dollar merger
Australian oil and gas producers Beach Energy and Drillsearch Energy Ltd agreed to a billion dollar merger on Friday, the day after Santos rejected a $5 billion offer, signalling the industry's fortunes may be bottoming. The pace of deals in the sector has picked up as a slump in oil prices since June last year has battered share prices to such weak levels that companies and assets are proving irresistible to buyers with sufficient funds. click here.

Oct 23 - China end-Sept crude stocks up, while diesel sees record drawdown
China's commercial crude oil stocks at the end of September rose 2.38 percent from August, while diesel stocks saw a record 15.68 percent drawdown amid the autumn harvest and fishing season, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Friday. Refined fuel stocks overall dropped sharply for a second month in a row, falling 7.46 percent, China Oil, Gas & Petrochemicals, a Xinhua oil and gas newsletter, reported, reaching their lowest levels since January. click here.

Oct 23 - Poland's PKN says expects first Saudi oil delivery in Nov
Poland's biggest refiner PKN Orlen, looking to ease its reliance on Russian supplies, is expecting its first delivery of Saudi Arabian oil at the start of November, calling it a step towards closer cooperation. "We are ahead of a tender that may lead to a new long-term contract. Our procedures say that we test the potential suppliers before signing. I hope this will be the beginning of a more intensified cooperation," PKN's chief executive Jacek Krawiec told a news conference on Thursday. click here.

Oct 22 - OPEC nations plan to join UN climate drive
OPEC members Iran and Saudi Arabia, the top greenhouse gas emitters yet to submit national strategies for tackling climate change, say they will do so before a U.N. summit in December in a sign of widening participation even by oil producers. More than 150 governments of almost 200 nations worldwide have issued plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions - mainly from fossil fuels - and adapt to changes such as more heatwaves, floods, or storms, meant as the building blocks for a deal at the summit in Paris from Nov. 30-Dec. 11. click here.

Oct 21 - Cooperation with OPEC? No thank you, ex-Soviet producers say
Ex-Soviet oil producers, led by Russia, are not bowing to pressure to reduce output in order to lift global prices, leaving little chance of a deal when OPEC experts meet with producers outside the group on Wednesday. The ex-Soviet oil nations have the financial cushion to weather low prices and some of them, too, find it difficult to cut output amid a battle for market share. click here.

 Oct 21 - Vitol sees oil struggling to break above $60/bbl by end-2016
Vitol, the world's largest oil trader, believes the crude price will struggle to trade above $60 a barrel next year, as the effects of slowing global demand growth could be compounded by a return of Iranian and maybe even Libyan barrels. The price of oil has halved over the last 12 months, mainly as a result of unprecedented levels of production from some major exporting countries, but also as demand from China and other commodity consumers, such as Brazil and Russia, slackened. click here.

 Oct 21 - U.S. oil output slide looms as shale firms hit productivity wall
Stagnating rig productivity shows U.S. shale oil producers are running out of tricks to pump more with less in the face of crashing prices and points to a slide in output that should help rebalance global markets. Over the 16 months of the crude price rout, production from new wells drilled by each rig has risen about 30 percent as companies refined their techniques, idled slower rigs and shifted crews and high-speed rigs to "sweet spots" with the most oil.  click here

Oct 20 - OPEC, non-OPEC experts to talk, but unlikely to cooperate on cuts
A meeting of OPEC and non-OPEC oil market experts this week is unlikely to increase the prospect of joint co-operation on supply curbs or show much support for Venezuela's proposed price band, OPEC delegates and analysts said. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has invited eight non-member countries including Russia for talks on the market at its Vienna headquarters on Wednesday. OPEC's own meeting to set policy is not until Dec. 4.  click here.

 Oct 20 - Low crude prices to support refining margins - Formosa
Crude oil prices are expected to hold at $50 a barrel to $60 a barrel next year, buoying global demand for fuels and keeping refining margins elevated, a senior executive at Taiwanese refiner Formosa Petrochemical Corp said. Refiners in Asia have enjoyed better-than-expected margins this year as low crude prices kept down costs and pushed world oil demand to a five-year high. click here.

 Oct 20 - Iran to up oil production one week after sanctions -Shana
Iran will boost its crude oil production within one week once international sanctions are lifted and is determined to regain its lost market share, senior Iranian oil officials reiterated on Monday. Iran will raise production by 500,000 barrels per day in the first week after sanctions are lifted, Rokneddin Javadi, general manager of the National Iranian Oil Company, was quoted as saying by oil ministry news agency Shaha. click here.

 Oct 20 - Hedge funds trim oil shorts as market starts to rebalance: Kemp
Hedge funds have unwound most of the record short position they established in U.S. crude futures and options between June and August amid signs that the oil market is rebalancing. Hedge funds and other money managers had cut their gross short position in the main NYMEX WTI futures and options contract to 90 million barrels by Oct 13. click here.

Oct 19 - BP, China's CNPC to unveil oil alliance - sources
BP Plc and China's CNPC will next week unveil a strategic alliance to develop oil resources in Iraq and other regions, industry sources said on Friday, as Britain and China seek to tighten economic ties. The pact, one of several high-profile deals to be signed during a visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping to Britain, will aim to bolster cooperation between the two companies in Iraq, where they are developing the giant Rumaila oilfield. click here.

 Oct 19 - China preliminary Sept implied oil demand down 0.1 pct yr-on-yr
China's implied oil demand fell slightly in September from the same period last year even as passenger car sales rose for the first time in six months. China consumed roughly 10.13 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil in September, down 0.1 percent from a year ago, and down 1.3 percent from August, according to calculations based on preliminary government data. click here.

 Oct 19 - Saudi crude oil exports fall in August to 6.998 mln bpd - JODI
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell by 278,000 barrels per day in August, despite historically high wellhead production, while volumes of shipped refined oil products rose to a record high, official data showed on Sunday. The OPEC heavyweight shipped 6.998 million bpd in August, down from 7.276 million bpd in July, figures published by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI) showed. click here.

 Oct 19 - Hedge funds add to oil longs on bets prices have bottomed
Hedge funds raised their net long wagers on oil for a second week, betting prices had bottomed even as crude markets fell anew on fears that record OPEC pumping will worsen a global crude glut, trade data showed on Friday. U.S. crude prices had tumbled almost $3 a barrel on Monday in oil's worst selloff in over a month, but fund managers still boosted their net longs by 7 percent, the data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. click here.

Oct 15 - China's "teapot" refinery champion bows out on a high
China is on course to become the world's biggest crude oil importer and a determined 70-year-old woman from the country's oil-rich hinterland who battled to save small "teapot" oil refineries can take some of the credit. Liu Aiying has spent decades fighting against the dominance of powerful Chinese state oil firms to retain a role for teapots, which got their nickname because of their small size and basic equipment. A rarity as a woman in a senior position in China's oil sector, Liu helped save more than 80 small refineries employing thousands when Beijing sought to shut them in the 1990s. click here.

Oct 15 - Oil glut up by half a billion barrels in 2015
The world's big oil exporters pumped more than half a billion barrels more crude than needed in the first nine months of this year, industry data gathered by Reuters and major energy market forecasters show. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped an average of 31.20 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) between January and September, Reuters estimates show, more than 2 million bpd higher than demand for their oil. click here.

Oct 15 - European oil refiners set to slow down as profits fall
European refiners will likely cut their operating rates in the coming weeks in the face of falling margins, ending a rarely seen strong run of profits, consultancy Wood Mackenzie said on Wednesday. Benchmark northwest European refining margins dropped this week to their lowest level since July 2014 after diesel prices slumped due to a growing glut in the region as a result of a wave of imports. click here.

Oct 15 - South Korea's Sept oil imports from Iran up 43 pct, but 9-month purchases dip South Korea's crude oil imports from Iran jumped 43 percent in September from a year ago, though shipments in the first nine months of 2015 fell 4.5 percent, reflecting sanctions restricting buying over Tehran's nuclear programme. The world's fifth-largest crude importer brought 800,111 tonnes of Iranian crude in September, or 195,494 barrels per day (bpd), compared with 558,357 tonnes, a year ago, preliminary data from its customs office showed on Thursday. click here. 

Oct 14 - A $70 oil floor? Fat chance, but OPEC price plan may be first step
The safe money for oil traders is betting that Venezuela's plan to resurrect OPEC's old price band mechanism, attempting to set a $70 floor for the battered market, will be doomed from the start. Saudi Arabia, the group's de facto leader, has shown zero interest in returning to a strategy of supporting prices; big producers outside the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, namely Russia, have essentially ruled out cuts. And most analysts say attempting to set a price range is futile, or that the $70 price is unsustainably high, or both. click here.

Oct 14 - Offshore oil output to plunge as producers scrap field upgrades
Global offshore oil production in ageing fields will fall by 10 percent next year as producers abandon field upgrades at the fastest rate in 30 years, in the first clear sign of output cuts outside the U.S. shale industry, exclusive data shows. A drop in oil prices to half the level of a year ago has forced producers to slash spending and scrap mega projects that can take up to a decade to develop, but they are also taking less visible steps to cut investment in existing fields that will have an immediate impact on global supplies. click here.

Oct 14 - Venezuela says eight non-OPEC nations invited to Vienna meeting
Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio del Pino said on Tuesday that eight non-OPEC countries have been invited to an Oct. 21 oil meeting: Azerbaijan, Brazil, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Norway, Mexico, Oman and Russia. The technical meeting of oil experts from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC countries will be held in Vienna, he told Reuters.  click here.

Oct 14 - Saudi starts oil supplies to Poland, in set-back for Russia
Saudi Arabia has started supplying crude oil to Poland, the head of Russia's biggest oil company Rosneft said on Tuesday, becoming another Middle Eastern producer to enter a market traditionally dominated by Russia. A global battle is underway among oil exporters for market share, with producers with the deepest pockets, such as Saudi Arabia, using low prices to enter new markets, often at the expense of Russia. click here.

Oct 14 - U.S. shale oil output to fall by most on record in November - EIA
U.S. shale production is expected to fall the most on record in November, extending a nationwide output decline into its seventh consecutive month, according to a forecast on Tuesday from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Total output is set to fall by more than 93,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.12 million bpd, according to the EIA's monthly drilling productivity report. That's the largest monthly cut forecast since data was available in 2007. click here.

Oct 14 - Oil price forecasts: should we score their accuracy? Kemp
Who is the top forecaster in the oil market? The surprising answer is that nobody knows because the accuracy of predictions is never properly tracked and measured after they are made. Banks, consultancies, government agencies and even journalists routinely issue predictions about what will happen to oil supply, demand and prices in future. click here.

Oct 13 - Venezuela calls on OPEC to control output, seeks $70 floor price - Ramirez
Venezuela, whose economy has been decimated by low oil prices, this month will unveil a bold new strategy to revive them, taking a page from OPEC's history books with a proposed price band to build an automatic floor for prices at $70 a barrel. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Venezuela's long-time oil minister and current United Nations ambassador Rafael Ramirez said the proposal – to be presented to a meeting of OPEC technical advisors on Oct. 21 – would reapply the old mechanism of progressive production cuts to control prices, with a "first floor" of $70 per barrel and a later target of $100 per barrel. click here.

Oct 13 - China Sept crude oil imports up 1.3 pct on year
China's September crude imports rose 1.3 percent from the same month last year, customs data showed on Tuesday, as weak global oil prices helped underpin demand in the world's biggest energy user. China imported 27.95 million tonnes, or 6.80 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, also up 5.1 percent from August. click here.

Oct 13 - Kuwait sees no call for policy change as OPEC eyes balanced market
Kuwait said on Monday there were no calls within OPEC to change the oil group's production policy and that lower output from high-cost producers could support prices in 2016, adding to signs OPEC will keep its strategy of defending market share. Meanwhile, OPEC forecast in a monthly report that demand for its oil in 2016 would be much higher than previously thought as lower prices curb U.S. shale oil and other rival supply sources, reducing a global surplus. click here.

Oct 13 - OPEC sees more demand for its crude in 2016 as cheap oil hits rivals
OPEC forecast on Monday that demand for its oil in 2016 would be much higher than previously thought as its strategy of letting prices fall hits U.S. shale oil and other rival supplies, reducing a global surplus. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) forecast the world would need 30.82 million barrels per day (bpd) from the group next year, up 510,000 bpd from the previous prediction. click here

Oct 12 - Indonesia's return to OPEC complicates Dec decision on output target 
OPEC's policy meeting in December will welcome Indonesia's return as a member, complicating a decision by the producer group on whether to change its oil output target. After refusing to cut output last year, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is pumping much more than its target of 30 million barrels per day (bpd) because of near-record Saudi Arabian and Iraqi production, and smaller increases elsewhere in the group. click here.

 Oct 12 - Traders eye floating diesel storage in Atlantic 
Oil traders are preparing to store diesel in giant tankers off the coasts of northern Europe and New York as land storage tanks are nearly full, traders said on Friday. Tank capacity levels are above 70 percent in some cases, levels considered near maximum, according to traders. click here.

 Oct 12 - Oil prices strengthen, shrug off Goldman warning: Kemp 
Timespreads for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent futures have strengthened significantly over the last month as fears about another big build up in crude oil stocks eased. The discount for WTI delivered in November 2015 rather than May 2016 has shrunk from $3.33 per barrel to $2.75 since Sept. 14. The discount for Brent has narrowed even more, from $4.50 to just $3.00. click here.

 Oct 12 - Saudi Aramco considers new Yanbu refining complex -sources 
State oil giant Saudi Aramco is considering building a $20 billion refining and petrochemical complex at Yanbu on the Red Sea coast, industry sources familiar with the matter said. The new refinery would have a capacity of 400,000 barrels per day and stand next to an existing refinery at Yanbu, wholly owned by Aramco, which has a capacity of 240,000 bpd and would also feed the planned petrochemical complex. click here.

 Oct 12 - Oil bulls begin to believe again, boost bets to highest since July 
Bullish oil funds are starting to bet on higher prices once again, increasing their long positions to the highest in nearly three months in a move that helped fuel the week's breakout rally, data showed on Friday. Money managers, including hedge fund managers and other speculators, raised their net length across several U.S. oil markets by 19,298 contracts to 167,072 in the week to Oct. 6, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. The rise, equal to nearly 20 million barrels, was the second-largest one-week increase in length since April and more than reversed a decline in positions a week ago.click here.

 Oct 12 - House passes bill axing U.S. oil export ban, veto looms 
A bill to repeal the U.S. oil export ban passed the House of Representatives on Friday, but faces an uncertain future after a veto threat by President Barack Obama. The bill sponsored by Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican, passed the House 261 to 159, failing to reach the 290 votes necessary to overturn a presidential veto. click here.

 Oct 12 - Kuwait says won't slow development of oil projects 
Kuwait will not slow the development of its oil industry projects in response to the fall of crude prices, its oil minister Ali al-Omair told an industry conference on Sunday. The chief executive of state energy giant Kuwait Petroleum Corp, Nizar al-Adsani, told the conference that his company had spent 4 billion dinars ($13.2 billion) in the 2014/15 fiscal year and 2 billion dinars so far in the current fiscal year on strategic oil projects. click here.

 Oct 12 - U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for 6th week on weak crude prices - Baker Hughes 
U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a sixth week in a row this week, the longest streak of weekly declines since June, data showed on Friday, a sign low prices continued to keep drillers away from the well pad. Drillers removed nine oil rigs in the week ended Oct. 9, bringing the total rig count down to 605, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. That total was the least since July, 2010. Drillers had cut a total of 61 rigs over the prior five weeks. click here.

 Oct 12 - Shell asks shippers exporting Nigerian oil to sign guarantee 
Royal Dutch Shell has asked ship owners exporting its Nigerian oil to sign a "letter of comfort" (LoC) to guarantee it is not stolen, according to an email from the company seen by Reuters. In July, state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corp (NNPC) banned more than 100 tankers from Nigeria's waters, citing a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari, who wants to trace and recover what he calls "mind-boggling" sums stolen from the oil sector. click here.

 Oct 12 - U.S. funds grab refinery stock momentum in beat-up energy sector 
In a rare case of positive momentum in the beat-up energy sector, U.S. mutual funds have piled into shares of Tesoro Corp and Valero Energy Corp, two independent refinery companies taking advantage of cheap crude prices. Tesoro and Valero are shining stars in an otherwise gloomy picture of the S&P 500 Energy Sector Index, whose one-year return is minus 21 percent. Shares of Tesoro, the benchmark's top performer during that period, are up 62 percent, followed by those of No. 2 performer Valero, up 40 percent. click here.

Oct 09 - Oil market oracle PIRA sees $75 crude by 2017
PIRA Energy Group, the closely watched forecaster that predicted the initial collapse in oil prices a year ago, warned on Thursday that the current market slump was setting the stage for prices to surge to $75 within two years. Speaking at the group's annual closed-door client seminar, Founder and Executive Chairman Gary Ross delivered a more bullish oil price outlook than the "lower for longer" theme now held by many industry executives as well as some banks such as Goldman Sachs. click here.

Oct 09 - Commodity slump intensifies risks to emerging markets (Kemp)
Oil, gas and mining accounted for nearly nine percent of all new greenfield foreign direct investment (FDI) projects announced over the last decade. Oil, gas and mining FDI has played a large role fuelling growth over the last decade, especially in developing countries. The current and prospective slowdown in investment is likely contributing to sluggish performance in 2015 and 2016. click here.

Oct 08 - Hungary imports oil from Iraq's Kurdistan at expense of Russian crude (sources)
Hungary has increased oil imports from Iraq's Kurdistan region at the expense of Russian crude in a sign that Middle East producers could be gaining ground in a battle with Moscow for global market share, according to trading sources. This would also be the first confirmation of large Kurdish oil shipments to Europe as autonomous Kurdistan is locked in a standoff with Baghdad over lucrative exports and faces repeated sabotage of the pipeline carrying crude to Turkey's Ceyhan port.

Oct 08 - Thai PTT reselling Ecuadorian oil to Peruvian, U.S. refiners (Reuters)
Thai oil firm PTT PCL has been reselling around 11 percent of Ecuador's monthly exports, according to internal documents from state-run Petroecuador and Reuters data, as the Asian firm gains a foothold in oil trading in the Americas. So far, none of the OPEC member's crude has been directly shipped to Thailand since a PTT unit signed an accord in June that gave the Andean country a $2.5 billion credit line in exchange for 116.6 million barrels of crude deliveries over five years, or up to 64,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Oct 08 - Oil traders primed for new views from market oracles PIRA
PIRA Energy Group, a closely watched forecaster that predicted the collapse in oil prices a year ago, will lay out its latest thinking on Thursday, setting a tone that may shape markets. Founder and Executive Chairman Gary Ross will open PIRA's annual closed-door client seminar with his outlook on the oil market. Prices have nearly halved from a year ago as Saudi Arabia and OPEC refrained from cutting production in the face of a growing global supply surplus driven by U.S. shale producers.

Oct 08 - Why lifting oil export ban can help U.S. foreign policy (Reuters)
A House of Representatives bill is due to go to the floor this week, one step closer to lifting the 40-year-old ban on the export of U.S. crude oil. The window of opportunity was opened by the continuing plunge in oil prices, now at a six-year low, as falling demand and booming production have created an overabundance of global supply. Congress must seize this opportunity: Lifting the ban on crude oil export would not only be good for the economy, it could also benefit U.S. foreign policy.

Oct 08 - U.S. oil stocks rise more than expected last week (EIA)
U.S. crude stocks rose more than expected last week as refiners reduced inputs and idled capacity, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose by 3.1 million barrels to 461 million last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.2 million barrels.

Oct 07 - OPEC sec-gen sees oil market improving, low price will not persist
OPEC sees the oil market improving because of higher demand for the group's crude and a drop in supply growth from non-members, its secretary-general said, the latest sign that OPEC believes its strategy of defending market share is working. Oil prices have almost halved in the last year on oversupply in a drop that deepened after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in 2014 changed strategy to protect market share against higher-cost producers, rather than cut output to prop up prices as it had done in the past.

Oct 07 - Glencore plays down impact of possible debt rating downgrade (Reuters)
Commodity group Glencore, whose shares have been hammered by worries about its debt burden, sought to assure investors that the impact of any credit rating downgrade on its debt profile would be modest. Glencore has investment-grade credit ratings, of BBB from Standard and Poor's and Baa2 by Moody's Investors Services, but some analysts and investors have speculated about a possible downgrade if hard-hit commodity prices remain weak.

Oct 07 - Oilfield cannibals: to save cash, U.S. drillers strip idle rigs (Reuters)
Cam Hewell runs Premium Oilfield Technologies, a small company that makes equipment and spare parts for drilling rigs from North Dakota to Texas. Like his rivals, he is trying to withstand the worst oilfield downturn in six years, but they face a vexing obstacle: cannibals. In a bid to save cash, rig owners are cannibalizing parts such as motors and drill pipe from idled rigs to fix 800 active ones in the U.S. when stuff breaks.

Oct 07 - Brazil's first oil auction in 2 years seen as referendum on nation (Reuters)
As Brazil prepares for its first sale of oil exploration rights in nearly two years on Wednesday, the auction is shaping up to be a mini-referendum on the willingness of investors to bet on the future of an industry under pressure and a Brazilian economy in turmoil. Not only has the price of oil fallen more than 50 percent since the last auction, slashing sector revenue and potential profit, Brazil's principal oil company, state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA, is mired in a giant price-fixing, bribery and political kickback scandal.

Oct 07 - U.S. oil output on brink of "dramatic" decline, exec says (Reuters)
Oil executives warned on Tuesday of a "dramatic" decline in U.S. production that could pave the way for a future spike in prices if fuel demand increases. Delegates at the Oil and Money conference in London, an annual gathering of senior industry officials, said world oil prices were now too low to support U.S. shale oil output, the biggest addition to world production over the last decade. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Oct 05 - Saudi pricing shows oil volatility in action amid oversupply (Russell)
Saudi Arabia's decision to lower prices for oil loading in November shows that the battle for market share in an over-supplied Asian crude market is far from over. Saudi Aramco, the kingdom's state-owned oil company, cut its official selling price (OSP) for its main Arab Light grade to Asia to a discount of $1.60 a barrel to the regional benchmark Oman/Dubai price for November from a premium of 10 cents for October cargoes.

Oct 05 - Volatility spikes may be unintended consequence of EU commodities rules (Reuters)
Energy traders are at odds with new European Union rules designed to halt speculation in commodities, arguing that companies won't be able to efficiently manage risk and market volatility could in fact spike. The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) this week announced its final rules to flesh out the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) law that comes into force in January 2017.

Oct 05 - Uncertainty about China hangs over oil rebalancing (Kemp)
Substantially lower oil prices are on the way to rebalancing the oil market, as demand accelerates and both shale and other non-OPEC oil production turns down. But how quickly the rebalancing is completed depends critically on whether rapid demand growth reported in the first half of 2015 can be sustained in the second half of the year and into 2016.

Oct 05 - Cuts in global oil investment biggest ever this year (IEA chief)
Global oil investments this year are on track to drop by 20 percent, marking their biggest decline in history, Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said on Friday. A halving in oil prices in the past year has hit energy companies' revenue and is discouraging them from spending on both exploration and production.

Oct 05 - Russia says ready to meet OPEC, non-OPEC producers for consultations (Reuters)
Russia, the world's top oil producer, is ready to meet with OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers to discuss the situation on the global oil markets if such a meeting was called, its energy minister said on Saturday. A separate meeting between Russian and Saudi officials was being planned for the end of October, to discuss energy issues and some other projects, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.

Oct 05 - Oil bull Hall's fund widens loss with 7 pct drop in Sept (sources)
Hedge fund manager Andy Hall, one of the most avowed oil bulls, had losses of about 7 percent in September, bringing the year-to-date decline to more than 20 percent, industry sources said on Friday. The September loss means the oil-focused fund managed by Hall's Astenbeck Capital Management in Southport, Connecticut has been down in six months out of this year's nine, based on earlier data circulated by the firm to investors in August and seen by Reuters. The firm had nearly $3 billion under management at the end of August.

Oct 02 - Commodity company distress may be turning point for markets (Reuters)
Commodity traders have a message for big raw material producers: modest cutbacks in production are not enough; they want to see blood. And they may get their wish because of pressure from the capital markets. After a rout that has more than halved the price of many major commodities over the past year, the financial pressure on some producers is becoming too much to bear, particularly those laden with tens of billions of dollars in debt accumulated during boom times.

Oct 02 - Saudi Arabia to cut Nov crude prices to Asia on weak Dubai (traders)
Saudi Arabia is expected to cut the prices of crude it sells to Asia in November after the Dubai benchmark weakened last month, in a move that will help the OPEC kingpin retain its market share in the region amid a global oversupply, traders said. Prices, however, are likely to be lowered less than what is indicated by a formula, given the top oil exporter tempered gains last month despite a strong rise in the Dubai price - which is used as a benchmark to set Middle East crude prices in Asia, the traders said on Thursday.

Oct 02 - How Israel turned a gas bonanza into an antitrust headache (Reuters)
When the Leviathan gas field was discovered off the coast of Israel in 2010, it was pitched as a game-changer -- a vast energy reserve that would transform the economy and bolster public finances for years to come. Five years on, poor policymaking, political infighting and a battle between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the antitrust commissioner over a lack of competition mean Leviathan remains undeveloped. Meanwhile, Egypt has made a larger discovery that could make it a more attractive investment.

Oct 02 - Oil bust saps U.S. students' enthusiasm for petroleum degrees (Reuters)
Enrollment in U.S. petroleum engineering degree programs fell for the first time in 13 years this fall, as an oil industry slump makes college students wary of entering the boom and bust world of oil and gas. The drop, revealed this week in annual data provided by the country's 21 petroleum engineering departments and made available to Reuters, is modest - the number of enrollments dipped just 1 percent from a record high of 11,332 hit last year when oil was around $100 a barrel.

Oct 01 - OPEC oil output rises in September, led by Iraq (survey)
OPEC oil output has risen in September from the month before, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday, as Iraq's northern exports recovered from disruption that had halted supply growth from the group's second-largest producer. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have kept output mostly steady, a further sign they are sticking to their focus on defending market share instead of prices.

Oct 01 - Saudi Arabia's new oil policy works in reclaiming market share (Reuters)
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia is slowly regaining market share following its 2014 decision to no longer support prices, data shows, but has a long way to go if it wants to go back to the larger levels it has seen in the past. Saudi Arabia led a shift by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in November 2014 to defend market share against competing supplies, rather than cut output to prop up prices as they had for years.

Oct 01 - California could be PBF's biggest refinery challenge yet (Reuters)
PBF Energy Inc's purchase of Exxon Mobil Corp's California refinery marks Chairman Tom O'Malley's biggest bet yet on U.S. refining in the country's toughest market. The $537.5 million deal to buy Exxon's 155,000 barrels per day plant in Torrance with dock, storage and pipeline infrastructure will mark PBF's entrance into the market in California, where refiners spend more to make a required boutique gasoline blend and face stronger emissions regulations than anywhere else in the country.

Oct 01 - Global oil demand growing at fastest pace for five years (Kemp)
World oil demand surged in the first six months of 2015 compared with the same period in 2014, according to national estimates submitted to the Joint Oil Data Initiative (JODI). Petroleum demand is responding in the expected manner to a halving in the price of crude and significant declines in the price of most fuels in most consuming countries, as well as continued economic expansion in much of the world.

Sep 30 - Trading in the spotlight as Glencore seeks way out of crisis (Reuters)
As Glencore's stock went into free fall in August in the face of heavy debts and shrinking earnings, its chief Ivan Glasenberg had a defiant message - traders can beat weak commodity prices during market downturns. But while analysts and investors were trying to figure out how trading could save a company in crisis, several traders were leaving the firm after what industry sources said were trades that failed to reward the big risks taken and the large amounts of capital employed.

Sep 30 - U.S. mutual funds that bet bigger on energy sector get burned (Reuters)
One-in-four U.S. large-cap mutual funds have increased their stakes in energy companies this year and many have suffered heavier losses than their peers as a result of ill-timed bets. The moves into shares of frackers, refiners and integrated oil conglomerates reflect a gamble that the sector will rebound after rising supply and slowing global growth triggered a nearly 60 percent slide in crude prices since the middle of 2014.

Sep 30 - Slumping commodity prices pose a serious challenge to economic and political stability in developing economies across Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 94 developing countries depended on commodities for more than 60 percent of their merchandise export revenues in 2012/13.

Sep 30 - Iranian condensate exports at 2015 high as China resumes buying (sources)
Iran's condensate exports in September hit the highest monthly total so far this year, after its top client China resumed buying of the ultra-light crude for the first time in six months, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The sales come as Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the United Nations this week that he wanted to prioritise its energy and financial cooperation with Tehran ahead of a potential lifting of sanctions.

Sep 29 - Royal Dutch Shell pulls plug on Arctic exploration (Reuters)
Royal Dutch Shell has abandoned its Arctic search for oil after failing to find enough crude, a move that will appease environmental campaigners and shareholders who said its project was too expensive and risky. The withdrawal came six weeks after the final U.S. clearance and three months after Shell was still defending the project, a rapid change of heart for such a large company that showed it is preparing for a prolonged period of low oil prices while trying to close its $70 billion takeover of rival BG.

Sep 29 - Energy Transfer to buy Williams for $33 bln after long quest  (Reuters)
Pipeline giant Energy Transfer Equity LP will buy rival Williams Cos Inc in a deal valued around $33 billion, nearly a third less than the same offer Williams had rejected in June for being too small. The takeover ends a pursuit stretching back to January and marks the first major buyout of a midstream company since oil prices crashed. It will create one of the world's largest energy infrastructure companies, alongside Kinder Morgan Inc. and Enterprise Products Partners.

Sep 29 - So far, less pain than feared as U.S. shale firms renew loans (Reuters)
A number of U.S. shale oil and gas companies are securing unchanged or even increased credit allotments during their semi-annual loan reviews, defying expectations that banks would slash small firms' credit lines in response to low crude prices. According to a Reuters review of disclosures made by 19 independent U.S. shale oil and gas companies since Aug. 1, at least 11 have said their borrowing bases have been or will be maintained or increased. In contrast, just five talked about cuts.

Sep 29 - With cash from Russian sales, Gunvor readies European expansion (Reuters)
Gunvor is close to buying its third refinery in Europe, reinvesting money from asset sales in Russia, in a major turnaround for the Swiss trading house since its deep links with Moscow nearly brought it to a collapse only 18 months ago. Industry and banking sources told Reuters on Monday Gunvor had entered into exclusive talks with Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) to buy its Dutch refinery in Rotterdam adding to its refining portfolio in Germany and Belgium.

Sep 25 - OPEC is winning battle to stimulate gasoline demand (Kemp)
OPEC's bid to curb production of high-cost oil is taking time to produce results but the organisation is already making good progress on its other objective of stimulating fuel demand. In the first half of the year, gasoline deliveries into U.S. local markets jumped by 4.3 percent compared with the same period in 2014, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Sep 25 - Salt caverns to prevent oil storage shortage (Reuters)
The world's oil storage tanks are brimming but there is plenty more space to hand in natural salt caverns and elsewhere, said the head VTTI, a leading player in the sector. The crude price collapse has hit energy companies hard, but oil storage is booming with producers and traders renting tanks and investors snapping up assets. "There is a lot of capacity but there is also a lot of demand," said Rob Nijst, chief executive officer of VTTI, which is half owned by the world's largest oil trader Vitol. "Everyone wants more storage volumes at the moment."

Sep 25 - Iran postpones London oil conference to Feb 2016 (Reuters)
Iran has postponed a crucial conference to present new oil contracts to investors in London to February 2016 from December 2015 as industry sources said Tehran was still waiting for Western sanctions to be lifted. The global oil industry has been eagerly watching Tehran's plans for the conference as Iran, OPEC's third largest oil producer, holds the world's fourth largest oil reserves and the largest for natural gas.  

Sep 24 - OPEC focuses on rival mega projects, lives with shale swing output (Reuters)
After almost a year of painfully low oil prices, OPEC members are beginning to believe they are winning against upstart U.S. shale producers in a short-term market share contest. Yet insiders and experts say OPEC is looking for a longer-lasting impact on other high-cost production oil field plans, many in deep oceans, with bigger time scales, even if that means a period of cheap oil prices lasting for years.

Sep 24 - China to carve out new oil, gas pipeline firm from state oil giants (China Securities Journal)
China plans to create a new crude oil and liquefied natural gas pipeline transportation company by stripping these operations out from its three largest oil firms, the state-backed China Securities Journal reported on Thursday. The move is aimed at reducing such firms' monopoly in the oil and gas market and improving competition, the newspaper reported without saying where it had obtained the information from.

Sep 24 - U.S. gasoline sales surge at fastest for over a decade (Kemp)
Gasoline sales to U.S. motorists rose by more than 5 percent in July compared with the same month a year before, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gasoline sales are rising at the fastest year-over-year rates for more than 14 years as demand surges.

Sep 23 - Big oil importers struggle to capitalise on cheaper fuel bills (Reuters)
Big energy importers in emerging markets were expected to benefit from plunging oil prices, but with China's growth slowing and their exports dwindling, only a handful have been able to capitalise on cheaper fuel. Investor disappointment is evident in a broad emerging market rout - Turkish and Indonesian stocks are down around 30 percent in dollar terms this year. 

Sep 23 - Iraqi Kurds reassert right to export oil to US despite court ruling (Reuters)
Kurdistan reasserted its right to export oil independently to the United States and other countries on Tuesday despite a court ruling in favour of the Iraqi federal government, which has sought to block crude sales from the autonomous region. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans on Monday dismissed the Kurdistan Regional Government's bid to overturn an earlier ruling against a planned sale of oil to an unidentified buyer in the U.S.

Sep 22 - Oil refiners aim for trader mentality to survive (Reuters)
Europe's oil refiners are adopting the wily and flexible ways of traders to ensure survival as the sector faces further shrinkage, delegates at an industry conference said. Hard times have pushed them to pick and choose from a wider range of crudes, ferry feedstock between their own refineries to get the optimal mix of products and seek out deeper discounts from suppliers.

Sep 22 - Singapore's record high fuel oil stocks push oil into floating storage (Reuters)
Record high stocks of fuel oil in Singapore are pushing traders to store the shipping and feedstock fuel into tankers temporarily as demand slows regionally. At least seven very large crude carriers have been provisionally fixed to store fuel oil on short-term time charters, traders and shipbrokers said.

Sep 22 - Jet fuel stays at sea as imports overwhelm Europe (Reuters)
A jet fuel market in Europe saturated by imports from Asia and the Middle East has forced sellers to keep their oil offshore on tankers or chose longer voyages as they seek out buyers. Jet fuel and diesel stocks in Europe have been steadily building as refineries around the world operate at near-maximum capacity to benefit from a rare run of strong profit margins driven mainly by global gasoline demand.

Sep 22 - Total sells stake in Alberta oil sands project to Canada's Suncor (Reuters)
French oil company Total , which is trimming exposure to Canada's oil sands amid a slump in crude prices, said on Monday it had sold a tenth of the Fort Hills oil sands project in northern Alberta to Canada's Suncor Energy. The stake in the planned 180,000 barrel-per-day project was sold to Suncor  for around C$310 million (US$233.96 million).

Sep 21 - Iran to unveil new oil contracts in coming weeks (Shana)
Iran will unveil new oil development contracts in the coming weeks aiming to attract foreign investors and oil buyers once sanctions on its energy sector are lifted, the Oil Ministry's website Shana reported on Friday. Under a deal reached with six major powers in July, the OPEC producer agreed to curb its nuclear programme in exchange for an end to economic sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear work.

Sep 21 - Saudi Arabia crude exports dip to 7.276 mln bpd in July (JODI)
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports dipped by 89,000 barrels per day in July, while volumes used by local refineries and the country's refined products shipments rose from a month earlier, official data showed on Sunday. The world's biggest crude exporter trimmed its production by around 200,000 bpd in July pumping 10.361 million bpd, but Riyadh shows no signs of wavering on its strategy of defending market share and feeding a growth in global as well as domestic demand.

Sep 21 - Samson bankruptcy highlights M&A plans in offshore oil industry (Reuters)
The most significant bankruptcy of the current oil downturn has shone a spotlight on what is perhaps the most oversupplied corner of the energy world: the market for offshore rig services. Samson Resources Corp, an independent oil producer bought just four years ago for $7.2 billion, said in its late Wednesday filing for creditor protection that a 60 percent crude price slide  had upended its business. 

Sep 21 - U.S. oil drillers cut rigs for third week on weak crude prices (Baker Hughes)
U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a third week in a row this week, data showed on Friday, a sign that the latest crude price weakness was causing drillers to put on hold plans announced several months ago to return to the well pad. Drillers removed eight rigs in the week ended Sept. 18, bringing the total rig count down to 644, after cutting 23 rigs over the prior two weeks, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report. That was the biggest three-week decline since May.

Sep 18 - China fuel oil imports to slow further on reforms (Reuters)
Chinese imports of fuel oil will drop further this year and next as reforms in the world's No.2 economy allow more independent refineries to ship in crude oil as an alternative feedstock, traders and analysts said. China is opening its crude oil imports to buyers outside the state-owned sector, with independent refiners so far getting the go-ahead to use a total of nearly 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) in crude imports, or about 11 percent of total crude shipments into the country. 

Sep 18 - OPEC sees oil prices returning to $80/barrel by 2020 (OPEC)
OPEC forecasters expect oil prices will rise by no more than $5 a barrel a year to reach $80 by 2020, with a slowing in rival non-OPEC production growth not enough to absorb the current oil glut, according to OPEC sources. The sources said the figures came from an updated mid-term strategy report discussed this week by representatives from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in Vienna, which has yet to be fully endorsed by OPEC ministers.

Sep 18 - Saudi Aramco names leader in struggle for oil market share (Reuters)
The world's biggest oil firm Saudi Aramco has picked a career petroleum engineer who oversaw its biggest projects of the past decade, Amin Nasser, to lead it through a price downturn and a market share battle. The announcement from the Saudi Arabian state company ends five months of uncertainty about the new boss at the oil monopoly. Nasser is known for pushing for cutting edge technology and once said he sought to emulate the gas fracking revolution in the United States.

Sep 17 - OPEC's new medium-term forecasts show higher demand for its oil (delegates)
OPEC's new medium-term forecasts point to higher demand for the group's oil, OPEC delegates said, a sign that its strategy of letting prices fall is discouraging supplies from competing producers. The forecasts, to be published in OPEC's World Oil Outlook later this year, are expected to be discussed on Thursday during the second day of a meeting of OPEC's national representatives taking place at its Vienna headquarters.

Sep 17 - U.S. crude stocks fall in week, Cushing down most since Feb 2014 (EIA)
U.S. crude stocks fell last week, with inventories at the Cushing delivery hub declining the most in more than a year, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories  fell by 2.1 million barrels last week to 455.89 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 1.2 million barrels.

Sep 17 - Expect US oil output to slump? Better not overlook vertical wells (Reuters)
Easy money, super-sized frack jobs, and desperate drillers offering deep discounts to oil producers - all three have been credited for sustaining U.S. crude output during the worst price slump in six years. Now there appears to be a new factor in the mix: old vertical wells that can quickly be drilled, injected with water or fracked for a second time to increase production at low cost.

Sep 17 - Oil services firms face end-2016 order vacuum as clients axe projects (Reuters)
Peter Rose's problem of uncertainty is typical for the oil and gas services industry at the moment. New orders have dried up and he has no idea how profitable his firm will be next year and beyond. The outlook for companies such as Hunting, where Rose is finance director, seems grim as clients in the energy industry have already cancelled $200 billion in investments due to weak oil prices, and more cuts are likely. For Eikon users, click here. For other users, click here.

Sep 16 - Brent crude premium to U.S. WTI futures narrowest since January (Reuters)
The prospect of falling U.S. oil production as prices skim six-year lows has driven the gap between the U.S. WTI crude and Brent crude futures benchmarks to its smallest since the start of the year. The Brent spread  between the two prompt months has shrunk to around $2.20 a barrel, the narrowest since January, when it briefly traded above zero.

Sep 16 - Decline rates will ensure oil output falls in 2016 (Kemp)
“It takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast,” the Red Queen told Alice in Lewis Carroll’s novel “Through the Looking-Glass”. Oil companies have to invest heavily simply to offset the impact of natural decline rates on their existing fields, and even more if they want actually to increase production.

Sep 16 - Oil price curve may hint at higher prices at last (Reuters)
Cautious oil market bulls are stirring, sensing higher prices for future months after a first whisper that the glut may be set to slowly shrink. The International Energy Agency on Friday said lower prices will force non-OPEC producers including the United States to cut output by the steepest rate in over 20 years next year.

Sep 15 - OPEC says the world will want more of its oil next year (OPEC)
OPEC on Monday predicted higher demand for its crude oil next year, sticking to its view that a strategy of letting prices fall will tame the U.S. shale boom and cut a global surplus. The monthly report from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries also said a weaker outlook for China would contribute to slower global oil demand growth next year.

Sep 15 - U.S. shale oil production to fall for 6th straight month (EIA)
U.S. shale oil production for October is forecast to decline by 80,000 barrels per day to 5.21 million bpd, compared with 5.29 million bpd in September, according to data released on Monday by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The drop in October - the first in five months not to be bigger than the previous month's - was slightly less than the 80,200 bpd decline in September, data shows.

Sep 15 - Iraq warns foreign oil firms of cut in funds (Reuters)
Iraq has told foreign companies developing the country's southern oilfields that they may need to slash development spending next year because it has less money to pay them due to a slump in crude prices. In a letter dated Sept. 6 sent to international oil companies and seen by Reuters, the oil ministry said "because of the drop in our oil sales revenues, the Iraqi government has sharply reduced the funds available to the Ministry of Oil."

Sep 15 - Kuwait, Iran cut oil prices as fight for market share intensifies within OPEC
Kuwait and Iran have cut their crude oil prices to Asia to multi-year lows against top exporter Saudi Arabia as the battle for market share among producers pits member of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries against each other. Kuwait, one of the lowest-cost producers, cut its October price to Asia by 60 cents compared with the previous month, undercutting a reduction for a similar Saudi grade. This pulled Kuwaiti oil to its biggest discount to Saudi crude in over a decade, at 65 cents a barrel.

Sep 14 - China Aug commodities output weak as economic slowdown bites (Reuters)
China's output of key industrial commodities including coal and steel weakened in August, as government measures to cut smog ahead of World War Two commemorations further cut production already lowered by a slowing economy. Growth in China's investment and factory output missed forecasts in the month, pointing to a further cooling in the world's second-largest economy that will likely prompt the government to roll out more support measures. 

Sep 14 - Oil trading in Asia reaches inflection point (Russell)
Imagine what crude oil trading will look like in Asia in 10 years' time. Probably quite different to like it does now. In recent months oil markets east of Suez have been roiled by the increasing influence of the trading arms of China's state-controlled giants, PetroChina  and Sinopec.

Sep 14 - IEA sees U.S. oil output collapsing next year on low prices (IEA)
Lower oil prices will force non-OPEC producers including the United States to cut output by the steepest rate in more than two decades next year, rebalancing an oversupplied oil market, the International Energy Agency said on Friday. The IEA, which advises the world's biggest economies on energy policy, said global oil demand was poised to climb to a five-year high this year thanks to lower prices.

Sep 14 - Oil Search rejects Woodside's $8 bln takeover plan (Reuters)
Oil Search Ltd  on Monday rebuffed an $8 billion takeover proposal from Australia's biggest energy company Woodside Petroleum Ltd  as far too cheap, although it left the door open to higher offers. Woodside last week sought exclusive talks with the Papua New Guinea-focused oil and gas producer on a one-for-four share offer, conditional on support from key stakeholders, including the PNG government.

Sep 11 - Saudi sees no need for oil summit, best leave market alone (sources)
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia sees no need to hold a summit of producing countries' heads of state if such discussions would fail to produce concrete action toward defending oil prices, sources familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The comments followed a meeting of Gulf Arab oil ministers with Qatar's emir in Doha, at which a Venezuelan proposal for an OPEC and non-OPEC summit was discussed.

Sep 11 - U.S. crude stocks rise more than expected (EIA)
U.S. crude stocks rose last week as refinery runs and imports fell, while gasoline and distillate inventories increased, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Thursday. Crude inventories rose by 2.6 million barrels to 458 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 933,000 barrels.

Sep 11 - U.S. shale giants turn to 2016 with somber outlook (Reuters)
Some of the largest U.S. shale oil producers have already begun slashing 2016 budgets, with some planning double-digit reductions starting next January, the latest sign low crude prices are forcing a radical adjustment in the industry. A rash of bleak commentaries from CEOs this week marks one of the earliest times in a calendar year that oil producers have laid out rough sketches for the following year's spending.

Sep 10 - Like it or not, China's crude oil futures will be a global benchmark (Reuters)
China's push to establish a crude derivatives contract has been met with early scepticism, but oil executives say the country's growing economic influence means a third global crude benchmark is inevitable. A derivatives contract would give the Shanghai International Energy Exchange, known as INE, a slice of an oil futures market worth trillions of dollars, offering a rival to London's Brent  and U.S. West Texas Intermediate.

Sep 10 - Iran drops crude price to 3-yr low in fight for Asia market share (Reuters)
Iran has reduced the quarterly price for its flagship crude to the lowest in three years in a bid to lure Asian buyers to lock in more term supplies next year. The price reduction is just one of the steps taken by the OPEC producer to ramp up output and regain market share lost since U.S. and European sanctions aimed at its nuclear programme cut its crude oil exports by more than half.

Sep 10 - U.S. crude output to fall 1 mln bbls in 2016 from 2015 peak (EIA)
U.S. oil production is set to fall slightly farther than expected a month ago, the U.S. government said on Wednesday, in a sign the year-long slump in global prices is weighing more heavily and for longer than expected on the country's shale boom. 2016 U.S. crude oil production is expected to fall by 400,000 barrels per day to 8.96 million bpd, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

Sep 10 - Gulf Petrochem to expand in E Africa, up storage in Fujairah (Reuters)
Oil product trader Gulf Petrochem plans to focus on East Africa for growth and is increasing its storage capacity in the region to take advantage of double digit growth for some products, executive director S. Thangapandian said. The United Arab Emirates-based company also plans to strengthen its presence in the Middle East, and is spending $60 million to boost its storage at Fujairah.

Sep 09 - Expectations of Saudi oil shake-up stir uncertainty (Reuters)
A shake-up of Saudi Arabia's oil leadership by King Salman has introduced a new element of unpredictability to its energy policymaking at a moment when Riyadh is grappling with slumping crude prices and its war in neighbouring Yemen. State oil giant Aramco has been without a permanent chief executive since April, when Khalid al-Falih was made health minister, and the old Supreme Petroleum Council, where energy policy was historically made, was abolished in January.

Sep 09 - U.S. crude inventories might be tighter than they look (Kemp)
U.S. oil markets have been transformed over the last decade by the emergence of oil trading and storage as a major business in its own right, separate from production and refinery operations. At the end of 2014, there were more than 390 million barrels of crude stored at refineries and tank farms as well as in transit in pipelines and barges and in storage tanks at oilfields.

Sep 09 - OPEC says Indonesia to rejoin oil group after 7-year break (Reuters)
Indonesia is reactivating its membership of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries in December, OPEC said on Tuesday, which would add almost 3 percent to the group's oil output already close to a record high. The southeast Asian country would be the fourth-smallest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries ahead of Libya, Ecuador and Qatar, and bring the number of participants to 13 countries.

Sep 09 - Mexico cannot consider oil output cut now (Reuters)
Mexico cannot consider cutting oil output at the moment and has not been contacted by either OPEC members or other crude producers to discuss the international oil market, Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell told Reuters on Tuesday. Coldwell's comments came after Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted on Tuesday as saying that Tehran supports any step to help the recovery of the oil market. 

Sep 08 - Saudi crude output likely to remain steady towards end of 2015 (sources)
Crude production from Saudi Arabia is likely to stay around current levels in the fourth quarter of this year as a decline in domestic crude burning for power generation is expected to be offset by a seasonal rise in global demand. Saudi-based industry sources say production in the world's largest oil exporter is likely to remain at around 10.2 million to 10.3 million bpd on anticipated strong demand in the winter.

Sep 08 - China Aug crude oil imports down 13.4 m/m, underlying demand still strong (Reuters)
China's August crude oil imports fell 13.4 percent from the previous month, customs data showed on Tuesday, but underlying demand remains strong amid weak global oil prices. China imported 26.59 million tonnes, or 6.26 million barrels per day in August, data from the General Administration of Customs showed, up 5.6 percent from the year before.

Sep 08 - Safety deadline may exempt U.S. railroads from freight obligations (Reuters)
U.S. railroads may not be obligated under federal law to carry freight including crude oil and hazardous materials from Jan. 1 if they fail to meet a year-end deadline for implementing new train safety technology, according to a top federal regulator. In a Sept. 3 letter to the Senate Commerce Committee, U.S. Surface Transportation Board Chairman Daniel Elliott says the common carrier obligation requiring freight railroads to honor reasonable requests for service from shippers "is not absolute, and railroads can suspend service for various reasons, including safety."

Sep 08 - In Canada's prairies, crude slump puts first oil patch in reverse (Reuters)
Amid the corn and canola fields of eastern Saskatchewan, oil foreman Dwayne Roy is doing what Saudi Arabia and fellow OPEC producers are loath to do: shutting the taps on active wells. Inside a six-foot-square wooden shed that houses a basic hydraulic pump, the Gear Energy Ltd  employee demonstrates how shutting down a conventional heavy oil well in this lesser-known Canadian oil patch is as simple as flipping a switch. His company has already done so hundreds of times this year, making the Lloydminster industry among the first in the world to yield in a global battle for oil market share that has sent crude prices tumbling to six-year lows.

Sep 07 - Golden age of OPEC has passed (Rosneft ceo)
The Golden Age of OPEC countries to keep oil markets balanced passed when the group decided not to cut production in November last year to end a price rout, the chief executive of Russian oil major Rosneft said. "The Golden Age of this organization has passed," Igor Sechin said during the Financial Times' Commodities Retreat in Singapore on Monday.

Sep 07 - In Qatar, Venezuela's Maduro pushes for OPEC heads of state summit (Reuters)
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has suggested to the Emir of Qatar a summit for heads of state of OPEC countries to defend oil prices, an idea he said the leader of the Arab Gulf state "liked". "I made the proposal, he liked the idea, he said he was in agreement with the idea, and as president of our organization for summits he will make the necessary consultations," Maduro said in an interview with television channel Telesur on Saturday.

Sep 07 - U.S. gasoline demand indicators pointing one way: up (Reuters)
This week, U.S. economic indicators have hammered home a bullish point for global oil markets: the resurgence in American gasoline demand is here to stay. On Friday, data showed that U.S. unemployment fell more than expected to just 5.1 percent in August, the lowest since April 2008 - when U.S. crude was trading at over $100 a barrel. More workers mean more commuters burning more gasoline.

Sep 07 - U.S. oil drillers cut rigs as crude prices collapse (Baker Hughes)
U.S. energy firms cut a surprisingly sharp 13 oil rigs this week, the first drop in seven weeks, as a renewed slump in prices this summer forced drillers to make a second round of cut-backs. The decline erases weeks of small gains and brings the total to the week ending Sept. 4 down to 662, the lowest since mid-J
uly, oil services company Baker Hughes Inc  said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Sep 04 - Majority of US shale firms pass up Q2 chance to hedge $60 crude (Analysis)
With the benefit of hindsight, last quarter may have been the best chance for cash-strapped U.S. shale oil producers to ensure they would get at least $60 a barrel for the next year or two. Barely a third did so. According to a Reuters analysis of hedging disclosures by the 30 largest such firms, more than half of them did not expand their hedges during the three months ended June or had no hedges at all, exposing them to a plunge that wiped more than $20 off the price of oil in the following months.

Sep 04 - Diesel regains glow for Europe's refiners (Reuters)
European diesel refining profits are outperforming expectations as a string of shutdowns at diesel production units this autumn limits supplies. The sum of the works could take out close to 300,000 barrels per day of diesel production in northwest Europe and the Mediterranean, traders said, lending support to profits for the fuel despite a flood of imports that are expected from the United States, Russia, the Middle East and Asia. 

Sep 04 - Saudi Arabia lowers Oct Arab Light crude OSP to Asia (Reuters)  
Saudi Aramco has cut its October price for its Arab Light grade for Asian customers by $0.30 a barrel versus September to a premium of $0.10 a barrel to the Oman/Dubai average, it said on Thursday. The company dropped its Arab Light OSP to Northwest Europe by $0.50 a barrel for October from the previous month at a discount of $3.55 a barrel to the Brent Weighted Average. The Arab Light OSP to the United States was set at a premium of $0.95 a barrel to the Argus Sour Crude Index for October, down $0.60 a barrel from the previous month.

Sep 04 - Northern Iraq's oil exports down in August due to pipeline disruption (Reuters)
Oil exports from northern Iraq fell by around 44,000 barrels per day in August to an average of 472,832 bpd due to disruption of the pipeline to Turkey, the Kurdistan region's ministry of natural resources said on Thursday. The pipeline was down for nine days in August "due to events in Turkey beyond the KRG'scontrol", the ministry of natural resources said in a statement on its website.

Sep 04 - U.S. ethanol industry sputters on cheap gas prices (Reuters)
The closure of two ethanol plants this week and proposed sale of a third highlight the growing challenges faced by small producers located far from cheap feedstock supplies in the U.S. Corn Belt, as demand for alternative fuels heads lower.Profit margins are shrinking across the U.S. ethanol industry, which produces about 15 billion gallons a year of the biofuel mainly from corn, as oil prices  have sunk to the lowest in 6-1/2 years. Fuel use overall is slowing as the busy summer driving season winds down.

Sep 03 - OPEC oil output in Aug falls from record on Iraq disruption (survey)
OPEC oil output fell in August from the highest monthly level in recent history, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday, as disruptions to flows on Iraq's northern pipeline halted supply growth from the group's second-largest producer.Largely stable output from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries indicated they are not wavering in their focus on defending market share instead of prices.

Sep 03 - U.S. crude oil stocks rise as refinery runs fall, imports jump (Reuters)
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week as refinery throughput fell for a fourth week and imports jumped, while gasoline stocks fell, data from the Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday.Crude inventories  rose 4.7 million barrels to 455.4 million in the week to Aug. 28, the biggest one-week rise since April, compared with analysts' expectations for stocks to remain unchanged. U.S. crude imports  rose 656,000 barrels per day to 7.4 million bpd. 

Sep 03 - Asian consumers missing out on full benefit of crude oil slump (Russell)
Conventional wisdom is that falling oil prices provide significant economic stimulus, but many Asian countries appear to be missing out on much of the benefit.While Brent crude  has dropped 51.7 percent in the past 12 months, the retail prices of gasoline and diesel in major countries across the region haven't fallen by anything like as much.

Sep 03 - Eastern Libya struggles to attract oil buyers in row with Tripoli (Analysis)
Libya's official government is struggling to woo oil majors in a bid to control oil revenue and force a rival Tripoli government into a U.N. peace deal because foreign clients are wary of breaking with the established state energy firm in the capital.The battle over Libya's oil resources is at the heart of a conflict between two governments and parliaments allied to a host of armed groups fighting for power four years after an uprising ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi.

Sep 03 - Canada oil industry says price drop makes new pipelines essential (Reuters)
Tumbling crude prices have made building new pipelines more important than ever for Canadian oil and gas producers because the fate of some projects hinges on shipping costs, the head of the industry's main lobby group said on Wednesday.Canadian companies have long complained that the industry suffers major lost revenue because their oil, Western Canadian Select, is at times sold at a discount of up to $40 per barrel to Western Texas Intermediate crude.

Sep 03 - Why oil investors are so behind the curve (Reuters)
Oil investors are behind the curve. Many assume that the cost of pulling oil out of the ground is relatively static – or at least changes slowly. Reality is slipperier. Rethinking the way the "cost curve" works may help explain recent gyrations in oil and other commodity markets. Miners, drillers and investors love cost curves because of their attractive simplicity. Draw a chart with the various producers lined up on the horizontal, in order of how cheaply they can get supply out. In the case of oil, to the far left are the cheapest Middle Eastern fields; on the right, the most expensive deepwater and oil sands. On the vertical is the cost of production. 

Sep 02 - China oil market reform paves way for new crude benchmark (Reuters)
China may launch a global crude oil futures contract as early as October to compete with the existing London Brent and the U.S. WTI benchmarks, three sources said, as it pushes ahead with reforms to open up its oil markets. The long-awaited crude contract would better reflect China's growing importance in setting crude prices, as well as boost the use of the yuan in which it will be traded, although volatile global trading conditions and China's recent interference in stock markets have raised some concerns.

Sep 02 - Oil price crash prompts scramble for Caribbean storage tanks (Reuters)
Demand for crude storage in the Caribbean, one of the world's most important oil hubs, is rising as producers and traders try to ride out the worst price crash in six years by holding onto more barrels or making blends that can be sold for premiums.The last time tanks in the logistically-important islands were this full, during the price collapse of 2009, companies started leasing vessels to use as floating storage.

Sep 02 - OPEC magazine op-ed that fuelled oil rally baffles insiders (Reuters)
An OPEC publication written by the exporter group's public relations team helped oil prices jump and prompted speculation over a possible shift in output policy - to the bafflement of some OPEC insiders. The commentary on Monday in the OPEC Bulletin, a magazine issued by OPEC's Vienna headquarters, said downward pressure on prices due to higher production "remains a cause for concern" and OPEC "stands ready to talk to all other producers". 

Sep 02 - Oil market displays its irrational side (Kemp)
U.S. crude prices jumped more than 27 percent in three trading days between Thursday and Monday, which should convince even the most die-hard believers the oil futures market is neither efficient nor rational. The rally has left traders, analysts and journalists struggling to make sense of the sudden change in direction after prices had fallen steadily for two months, hitting their lowest level since 2009.

Sep 02 - Europe's oil producers hedge more, eye 'lower for longer' prices (Reuters)
Europe's small and medium-sized oil companies have forward-sold more crude than in previous years, ramping up their defences against a scenario in which prices stay weak for longer than expected.Hedging future oil output against market volatility is a well-rehearsed practice among smaller producers but as prices remain historically low, they have shielded themselves more heavily than usual from a further downturn.

Sep 01 - Weak China PMIs won't automatically lower commodity imports (Russell)
China's various purchasing managers' indexes gather significant attention as indicators of the health of the world's second-biggest economy, but they are less useful as a predictor of commodity imports. The official Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a 3-year low of 49.7 in August, in line with market expectations and down from a reading of 50 in July.

Sep 01 - U.S. crude output cuts will only come if prices stay low (Goldman)
Further U.S. production cuts needed to rebalance oil markets will only happen if U.S. crude prices remain low, at around $45 a barrel, Goldman Sachs said late on Monday. U.S. oil  dropped to around $48 on Tuesday morning, curbing 8 percent gains recorded the session before after the downward revision of U.S. output data by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

Sep 01 - Canada synthetic crude spikes on Syncrude fire, Nexen pipelines (Reuters)
Canadian light synthetic crude prices spiked higher on Monday after a weekend explosion and fire at the Syncrude oil sands project in northern Alberta halted production and regulators ordered pipeline shutdowns at a separate Nexen Energy site. Traders scrambled to secure temporarily short supply after a fire early Saturday morning at the 326,000 barrel per day Syncrude facility, Canada's largest synthetic crude project, disrupted output.

Sep 01 - Italy's Eni makes mega gas discovery off Egyptian coast (Reuters)
Italian energy group Eni said on Sunday it had discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast, predicting the find could help meet Egypt's gas needs for decades to come. The Italian major said in a statement the offshore "Zohr" field could hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, covering an area of about 100 square kilometres.

Sep 01 - Chinaoil propels Asia crude trade volume to new high in Aug (Reuters)
The number of cargoes traded during a pricing process for Middle East crude exports to Asia hit an all-time high in August as Chinaoil, the trading arm of PetroChina Co, snapped up a record 36 million barrels over the month, traders said. Aggressive trading, with heavy buying by Chinaoil and selling by Unipec - a unit of Asia's largest refiner Sinopec, has pushed up Middle East crude prices for Asia, even as other grades are being pressed lower by a global glut.

Sep 01 - Iran oil contracts model to be finalised in weeks (minister)
Iran expects to finalise the wording for a new model for international oil contracts in the next three weeks, the oil minister said on Monday, as Tehran seeks to boost recovery from its fields with the help of foreign companies. The ministry is expected to present the new oil contracts to investors at a conf
erence in London in December, ahead of a likely lifting of international sanctions in 2016.