Oil Product

Dec 02 - How Putin, Khamenei and Saudi prince got OPEC deal done 

Russian President Vladmir Putin played a crucial role in helping OPEC rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia set aside differences to forge the cartel's first deal with non-OPEC Russia in 15 years. Interventions ahead of Wednesday's OPEC meeting came at key moments from Putin, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani, OPEC and non-OPEC sources said. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - Red-letter day for oil spreads, as market now sees 2017 rebalancing 

After OPEC's first output cut in eight years, long-dated oil futures spreads flipped into positive territory for the first time in two years on Thursday, suggesting an end to the global crude glut is in sight. The tell can be found in a trade known as "Dec Red" - the spread between the December 2017 and 2018 U.S. crude futures contracts. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - The return of OPEC: Bordoff

Two years ago, when the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries chose not to cut output and let oil prices collapse, many pundits penned obituaries for the producer group. Yet on Wednesday, OPEC seemed to breathe new life, agreeing to cut output 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd). While OPEC may have been hibernating, the decision by Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s leading member, to let oil prices crash was always a pragmatic one, not an ideological one. OPEC has sent stark reminder that when circumstances change, it can change too -- and it would be foolish to write off OPEC as irrelevant. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - Private equity funds, former oil execs eye Southeast Asia energy assets

Flush with cash, private equity-backed firms and former oil industry executives are eyeing energy assets in Southeast Asia as prolonged lower crude prices drive oil majors hungry for cash to divest or seek additional funds. The firms are banking on a rapid rise in economic growth in Southeast Asia - a region ripe with cheaper and smaller oil and gas fields which are nearing production - to boost oil demand and in turn enable them to resell the assets within a few years at a profit. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 02 - As winter nears, Dakota Access faces frigid weather and costly delays 

Delays to the Dakota Access Pipeline have added millions of dollars to Energy Transfer Partners' construction tab - but even if the line is approved, the freezing temperatures will bring their own challenges to finishing the drilling process. Frigid weather makes some aspects of pipeline construction more difficult, though not impossible, engineers and experts interviewed by Reuters said this week. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - OPEC in first joint oil cut with Russia since 2001, Saudis take "big hit" 

OPEC has agreed its first oil output cuts since 2008 after Saudi Arabia accepted "a big hit" on its production and dropped its demand on arch-rival Iran to slash output, pushing up crude prices by around 10 percent. Fast-growing producer Iraq also agreed to curtail its booming output, while non-OPEC Russia will join output cuts for the first time in 15 years to help the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries prop up oil prices. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - OPEC's big cut to oil output may not be so impressive: Russell

The trick with the OPEC agreement is not to view it as a cut to output, but rather as the partial removal of excess crude oil from the global market. While there is little doubt that OPEC's agreement to remove 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) will tighten the global oil market, there is still likely to be plenty of crude around in the first half of next year. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - U.S. crude inventories fall unexpectedly, big distillate build - EIA

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week, while distillate inventories rose sharply, the Energy Information Administration's data showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell 884,000 barrels in the week to Nov. 25, compared with analysts' expectations for an increase of 636,000 barrels. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - U.S. veterans to form human shield at Dakota pipeline protest 

More than 2,000 U.S. military veterans plan to form a human shield to protect protesters of a pipeline project near a Native American reservation in North Dakota, organizers said, just ahead of a federal deadline for activists to leave the camp they have been occupying. It comes as North Dakota law enforcement backed away from a previous plan to cut off supplies to the camp – an idea quickly abandoned after an outcry and with law enforcement’s treatment of Dakota Access Pipeline protesters increasingly under the microscope. Click here to read full stories.

Dec 01 - New pipelines no silver bullet for battered Canada oil industry 

Canada's oil sands producers are getting a long-awaited boost in export capacity, but the two pipeline projects approved this week will not be a silver bullet for the industry's woes unless crude prices pick up or companies improve their operating efficiency. The Canadian government approved Kinder Morgan's plan to triple volumes on its Trans Mountain pipeline to 890,000 barrels per day, and cleared Enbridge Inc's Line 3 replacement project, which will roughly double capacity to 760,000 bpd. Enbridge's Northern Gateway pipeline was rejected.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Iran, Iraq at loggerheads with Saudis ahead of OPEC meeting 

Iran and Iraq are resisting pressure from Saudi Arabia to curtail oil production, making it hard for the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to reach a deal to limit output and boost the price of crude when it meets on Wednesday. OPEC sources told Reuters a meeting of experts in Vienna on Monday failed to bridge differences between OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and the group's second- and third-largest producers over the mechanics of output cuts. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Leaner and meaner: U.S. shale greater threat to OPEC after oil price war

In a corner of the prolific Bakken shale play in North Dakota, oil companies can now pump crude at a price almost as low as that enjoyed by OPEC giants Iran and Iraq. Until a few years ago it was unprofitable to produce oil from shale in the United States. The steep slide in costs could encourage more U.S. shale output if OPEC members cut supplies, undermining the producer group's ability to boost prices. OPEC ministers meet Wednesday to weigh output cuts to end a two-year glut that has pressured global oil prices. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - N. Dakota officials hope to quell pipeline protests with fines 

North Dakota officials on Tuesday moved to block supplies from reaching oil pipeline protesters at a camp near the construction site, threatening to use hefty fines to keep demonstrators from receiving food, building materials and even portable bathrooms. Activists have spent months protesting plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying the project poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Saudi Arabia carries on drilling despite oil slump: Kemp 

Saudi Arabia is one of the very few countries which has increased its drilling for new oil and gas wells since prices began to slump in the middle of 2014. The number of rigs drilling for oil and gas around the world has fallen from a peak of 1,382 in July 2014 to just 920 in October 2016. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Canada approves new pipelines to boost exports, greens ready to fight 

Canada on Tuesday approved Kinder Morgan Inc's hotly contested plan to build a pipeline from the Alberta oil sands to the Pacific coast, setting up a battle with environmentalists who helped elect Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Liberal government, under pressure from both green groups and the energy industry, said allowing Kinder Morgan to construct a second pipeline next to its existing Trans Mountain line would help ensure oil exports reach Asia and reduce reliance on the U.S. market. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 30 - Russia launches Urals crude oil futures trading in Moscow

Russia launched trading of a futures contract for Urals crude oil in Moscow on Tuesday, in a step to secure greater prominence for the Russian export blend. President Vladimir Putin has long called for the creation of a Urals futures contract and has said he is unhappy that Urals is sold at a discount to benchmark Brent crude. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - As OPEC price hike looms, Asia's big oil buyers may shop elsewhere

For the first time since 2008, OPEC is set to strike a deal to cut oil output that may boost prices. It may also give itself a bloody nose in Asia, where big buyers are ramping up supplies from elsewhere and say they don't want to pay more for fuel. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) meets on Wednesday to hammer out a deal to prop up prices that have halved since 2014. As they gather, tanker shipments to Asia from non-OPEC sources like Alaska, Azerbaijan, and the North Sea are growing, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - North Dakota governor orders pipeline protesters expelled 

North Dakota's governor ordered the expulsion of thousands of Native American and environmental activists camped on federal property near an oil pipeline project they are trying to halt, citing hazards posed by harsh weather as a blizzard bore down on the area. The "emergency evacuation" order from Governor Jack Dalrymple came days after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the site, set a Dec. 5 deadline for the demonstrators to vacate their encampment, about 45 miles (72 km) south of Bismarck, the state capital.  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Saudi Arabia's oil problems run far deeper than OPEC: Russell 

Saudi Arabia's problems run far deeper than trying to cobble together a deal with fellow OPEC members to curb crude oil output in order to bolster prices. About two-thirds of Saudi Arabia's oil exports head to Asia, and the kingdom's struggles in the region's two biggest importers, China and India, are symptoms of its wider issues in crude markets. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Shell considering selling its Iraq oil assets - sources 

Royal Dutch Shell is considering selling out of its oil fields in Iraq as part of its global $30 billion asset disposal programme, industry sources said on Monday. Shell is seeking to slim down its vast oil and gas portfolio following the $54 billion acquisition of BG Group in February, which transformed it into the world's top liquefied natural gas trader. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Hedge funds raise bullish bets on U.S. crude ahead of OPEC meeting 

Hedge funds and money managers have boosted their bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil, data showed on Monday, as the market turned more optimistic that the world's top oil producers would come together to hammer out the details of a deal to cut output. The speculator group raised its combined futures and options position in New York and London by 23,873 contracts to 192,095 contracts in the week to Nov. 22, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Monday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 29 - Mexico certifies bidders for December deep water oil auctions 

Mexico's oil regulator announced on Monday a final list of 17 oil companies representing a dozen countries that have pre-qualified to bid on the country's first-ever deep water oil auctions, set for Dec. 5. The highly anticipated tenders include an auction to pick a partner for Mexican national oil company Pemex to develop its promising Trion field, as well as 10 separate deep water fields, including four clustered around Trion just south of Mexico's maritime border with the United States. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Saudi energy minister: oil market would balance even without output cuts 

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that he believed the oil market would balance itself in 2017 even if producers did not intervene, and that keeping output at current levels could therefore be justified. Under a preliminary agreement reached in September in Algeria, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries would reduce its production to between 32.5 million and 33 million barrels per day, its first supply curb since 2008. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Canada pipeline opponents ready to take on Kinder Morgan, Ottawa 

If Canada approves Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline expansion, the company's four-year campaign for the project will be far from over. Next up is a battle against hardening opposition amongst some communities along its planned route. The C$6.8 billion ($5.04 billion) project is a big step toward opening up Asian markets to supply from Canada's massive oil sands. Kinder Morgan plans to build a pipeline parallel to an existing line and nearly triple capacity on the artery to 890,000 barrels per day. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Trump faces dilemma as U.S. oil reels from record biofuels targets 

The Obama administration signed its final plan for renewable fuel use in the United States last week, leaving an oil industry reeling from the most aggressive biofuel targets yet as President-elect Donald Trump takes over. The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, signed into law by President George W. Bush, is one of the country's most controversial energy policies. It requires energy firms to blend ethanol and biodiesel into gasoline and diesel. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - U.S. authorities say no plans to forcibly remove North Dakota protesters 

U.S. authorities said on Sunday they had no plans to forcibly remove activists protesting plans to run an oil pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, despite telling them to leave by early December. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which manages the federal land where the main camp protesting the Dakota Access pipeline is located, said last week it would close public access to the area north of the Cannonball River on Dec. 5  Click here to read full stories.

Nov 28 - Shell in talks over Gabon sale as seeks to hit divestment target 

Royal Dutch Shell is in advanced talks with a party interested in buying its onshore operations in Gabon as part of a $30 billion divestment plan following its purchase of BG Group, which was completed in February.  Shell had informed its staff of the discussions on Thursday, a spokesman for the firm told Reuters on Friday. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Saudi Aramco to supply more oil to Asia in January - sources 

State oil giant Saudi Aramco has agreed to supply some customers in Asia with incremental crude that will load in January, as it holds to a strategy of maintaining market share, three sources with knowledge of the matter said on Friday. The decision by the world's top exporter to give extra oil came weeks before Saudi Aramco was due to notify customers of their monthly supply allocation. For January supplies, allocations would have been made only around Jan. 10. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Azerbaijan signals OPEC wants big cuts from non-OPEC producers

OPEC may ask oil producers outside the cartel to make big cuts in output, Azerbaijan said on Thursday, highlighting the challenges in striking a deal as the two sides enter the final stages of talks aimed at cutting production to stabilise prices. The oil minister of Azerbaijan, which is not a member of OPEC, was quoted in a newspaper as saying the cartel may want non-OPEC producers to cut output by as much as 880,000 barrels per day (bpd) - a figure which analysts said could help wipe out excess crude supplies and start to eat into record inventories. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Risking flames and mines, Iraq oil workers battle to cap burning wells

His face blackened and helmet coated in soot, Hussein Saleh watched the oil fields of his home town in northern Iraq burn, belching up thick smoke that blotted out the sun. Dozens of fellow workers and engineers from Iraq's North Oil Company, wearing dirty jackets and overalls with scarves wrapped around their faces, started up their water tankers and bulldozers for the day's work. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Rosneft approves $17 billion domestic bond programme 

Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft  is to return to the country's domestic bond market after a two-year absence with a programme worth 1.071 trillion roubles ($16.6 billion), the company said on Thursday. Rosneft, which is preparing to buy 19.5 percent of its own shares from the state in a share buyback deal worth around 700 billion roubles, said that the money raised from the bonds might be used for overseas projects, new upstream business and planned refinancing. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 25 - Libyan oil output recovers to 567,000 bpd after outage fixed -source

Libya's oil production has risen by more than 40,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 567,000 bpd after repairs to power supplies to two oilfields, a senior Libyan oil source told Reuters on Thursday. Production on Wednesday was 60,000 bpd lower at 523,000 bpd because of power faults, now resolved, in the Waha and Dafa fields, NOC said. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - Oil companies shoulder pain of downturn with lower output 

The world's listed oil companies have slashed oil output by 2.4 percent so far this year during one of the industry's worst downturns as OPEC battles to agree on its first production cut since 2008. The aggregated production of 109 listed companies that produce more than a third of the world's oil fell in the third quarter of 2016 by 838,000 barrels per day from a year earlier to 33.88 million bpd, data provided by Morgan Stanley showed. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - Venezuela's Maduro says OPEC output pact 'imminent'

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday an OPEC deal to cut output and hike oil prices was "imminent," and dispatched his oil minister to Russia to help bring other producers on board. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed in Algeria two months ago to limit supply, with special conditions given to Libya, Nigeria and Iran, whose output has been hit by wars and sanctions. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - OPEC talks struggle with question of market share: Kemp 

OPEC officials are struggling to reach a final agreement on how to share out production cuts implied by the preliminary output accord agreed by ministers in September. In theory, all OPEC members would benefit in absolute terms if an output cut produced even a modest and sustained rise in oil prices, so there are strong financial incentives for a deal. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - IEA expects oil investment to fall for third year in 2017 

Investment in new oil production is likely to fall for a third year in 2017 as a global supply glut persists, stoking volatility in crude markets, the head of the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday. "Our analysis shows we are entering a period of greater oil price volatility (partly) as a result of three years in a row of global oil investments in decline: in 2015, 2016 and most likely 2017," IEA director general Fatih Birol said, speaking at an energy conference in Tokyo. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - Oil spice: With $3 bln port, Malacca eyes slice of shipping giant Singapore's pie 

Once at the heart of the global spice trade, Malacca is pumping nearly $3 billion into an ambitious plan to put itself in demand in a different hot commodity - oil. The Malaysian state is reclaiming land along the Straits of Malacca to build a port that can handle the biggest tankers on the planet. The target: a slice of traffic sailing on to nearby Singapore, the top but congested trading hub in a region with $600 billion in annual oil trade - a third of global oil demand. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 24 - Why Trump needs to embrace Obama’s fuel economy rules to make America energy independent: Bordoff 

Since the Arab Oil Embargo four decades ago, every president has promised to wean the United States off the need for foreign oil. President-elect Trump is no different, promising in his speeches and transition plans to achieve “energy independence.” His rhetoric to date has focused on ramping up U.S. oil supply — “drill, baby, drill.”

Nov 23 - OPEC to debate oil output cut next week but Iraq, Iran hesitate 

OPEC will debate an oil output cut of 4.0-4.5 percent for all of its members except Libya and Nigeria next week but the deal's success hinges on an agreement from Iraq and Iran, which are far from certain to give full backing. Three OPEC sources told Reuters a gathering of experts from the oil producer group in Vienna had decided on Tuesday to recommend that a ministerial meeting on Nov. 30 debate a proposal from member Algeria to reduce output by that amount. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Oil futures show no sign of market tightening despite OPEC talks: Kemp 

If OPEC hopes to speed up the rebalancing of the oil market by announcing a production-limiting plan, someone should tell the futures market. Front-month futures have risen sharply in recent days amid rising expectations OPEC will reach some sort of agreement by the next ministerial meeting on Nov. 30. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - As Dakota pipeline saga drags, rancor builds on both sides 

The September decision by the Obama administration to delay final approval for the Dakota Access Pipeline was intended to give federal officials more time to consult with Native American tribes that have faced dispossession from lands for decades. But the delays have also caused increased consternation among company officials and led to growing violence between law enforcement and protesters, with both sides decrying the actions of the other in recent days. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - "Chapter 22" looms over some US oil and gas bankruptcy survivors

At Global Geophysical Services LLC headquarters in a Houston suburb, a few employees are winding down what is left of an oil and gas industry data provider that only three years ago had a staff of more than 1,000 and offices around the world. Global Geophysical is a "Chapter 22" company - a term coined by restructuring experts for firms that return to bankruptcy court after their first Chapter 11 overhaul failed to fix their problems. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Russian tankers defy EU ban to smuggle jet fuel to Syria - sources 

Russian tankers have smuggled jet fuel to Syria through EU waters, bolstering military supplies to a war-torn country where Moscow is carrying out air strikes in support of the government, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. At least two Russian-flagged ships made deliveries - which contravene EU sanctions - via Cyprus, an intelligence source with a European Union government told Reuters. There was a sharp increase in shipments in October, said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the matter. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Venezuela's Maduro threatens legal action against JPMorgan 

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday ordered state oil company PDVSA to look into legal action against JPMorgan Chase & Co after the U.S. investment bank reported delays in $404 million in bond interest payments. PDVSA said on Monday it was using a 30-day grace period for coupon payments on its 2035 bond but that reports of other payment delays were wrong. It suggested paying agent Citibank was creating a backlog that had spooked markets. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 23 - Nigeria's lawmakers summon oil minister over deals with China and India 

Nigeria's parliament summoned the country's oil minister on Tuesday to clarify details of oil and gas infrastructure agreements worth $80 billion with Chinese companies and a $15 billion deal with India. Nigeria, which relies on crude sales for around 70 percent of its national income, is in recession for the first time in 25 years largely due to low global oil prices. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - OPEC experts' meeting makes progress on output talks

OPEC experts have made some progress on the first day of a two-day meeting to nail down details of their plan to cut oil output, OPEC sources said on Monday, with some expressing optimism about the prospect of a final deal. The second meeting of the High-Level Committee began at 0930 GMT. The committee is a technical body comprised mainly of OPEC governors and national representatives - officials who report to their respective ministers. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - As OPEC looms, hedge funds more cautious on oil: Kemp

Hedge funds have taken a more cautious stance on oil prices amid a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at securing a production-limiting deal among OPEC members by the end of the month. The funds cut their combined net long position in the three major Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures and options contracts by just 3 million barrels to 422 million barrels in the week ending Nov. 15. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - BP ring-fences CEO Dudley from Iran decision-making 

BP has created a new executive committee to explore business in Iran which will exclude its American chief executive Bob Dudley in a bid to avoid potential violations of U.S. sanctions still in place. The new committee is headed by BP's chief financial officer Brian Gilvary, who is a British national. Gilvary will coordinate the oil major's operations in Iran and any discussions with the country's national oil company, according to industry sources. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 22 - Energy Transfer MLPs Sunoco Logistics and ETP to combine 

Pipeline companies Sunoco Logistics Partners LP and Energy Transfer Partners (ETP), both of which are controlled by general partner Energy Transfer Equity LP, said on Monday they would combine in a corporate consolidation to cut borrowing and operating costs. ETP is the main company behind the controversial $3.7 billion Dakota Access Pipeline, which has been delayed since September, when federal regulators decided to re-review permitting for the project to cross land owned by the federal government. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Canada oil sands Asia export dream faces port bottleneck 

The bullish view for Suncor Energy Inc, Cenovus Energy Inc  and other Canadian energy producers calls for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau by next month to approve a major pipeline expansion to the west coast, boosting sales of land-locked oil sands crude to Asia. But a growing number of shipping brokers and physical oil traders warn that any new influx of oil will hit a bottleneck in Vancouver, because of the port's inability to accept the megaships that dominate oil trade globally. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Oil may rise to $55 if all producers cooperate - Iran 

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh expressed optimism on Saturday about an upcoming OPEC meeting and said crude prices could jump to $55 a barrel if an agreement is reached and non-OPEC producers cooperate. "We are receiving positive signals that increase the likelihood of agreement at the meeting ... and I'm optimistic about the situation," Zanganeh told state television by telephone, after meeting OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Tehran ahead of the Nov. 30 meeting. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Iraq's oil contracts make joining OPEC output cut more painful

Iraq would have to compensate international oil companies for limits placed on their production, according to industry sources and documents seen by Reuters, further reducing the prospect it will join any OPEC deal to curb the group's output. The compensation - stipulated in contracts - would compound the financial hit of losing much-needed revenue from crude sales, if the cash-strapped country were to yield to OPEC entreaties to curtail national production. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Speculators raise U.S. crude oil net longs, snap 3-week decline - CFTC 

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions in the week to Nov. 15, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) showed on Friday. The increase snaps a three-week decline and also comes just weeks ahead of a meeting later this month between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Glencore seeks $550 mln to raise stakes in Kurdish oil game 

Glencore is seeking to raise $550 million from investors via a debt issue guaranteed by oil from Iraqi Kurdistan in an attempt to secure a big slice of the high-risk - and high-reward - market in a region at war with Islamic State. Kurdish oil has been targeted by European traders over the past two years, during an industry downturn, since Erbil began selling oil independently from Baghdad. It has been relatively cheap due to the potential for supply disruptions and threats from Iraq's central government to sue anyone touching the crude. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 21 - Russia's Putin sees no difficulties for Moscow to freeze oil output 

Russia is ready to freeze its oil output - among the world's highest - at current level as there would be no problems for Moscow to do so, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday. OPEC nations are due to agree a world oil freeze pact with non-OPEC countries on Nov. 30. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - Iraq's oil contracts make joining OPEC output cut more painful 

Iraq would have to compensate international oil companies for limits placed on their production, according to industry sources and documents seen by Reuters, further reducing the prospect it will join any OPEC deal to curb the group's output. The compensation - stipulated in contracts - would compound the financial hit of losing much-needed revenue from crude sales, if the cash-strapped country were to yield to OPEC entreaties to curtail national production. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - Saudi's Falih urges OPEC to cut oil output to low end of target 

The energy minister for top OPEC exporter Saudi Arabia said on Thursday he was optimistic about OPEC's deal to limit oil output and mentioned the lower end of a previously agreed production target, helping spur a rally in the price of crude. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, at a meeting in Algeria in September, made a preliminary deal to limit oil output. The details are meant to be finalised when OPEC ministers gather in Vienna on Nov. 30. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - Oil producers pounce on price uptick to bolster hedging 

British-based oil producers have started to sell more oil and gas forward to lock in a small uptick in prices, as doubts grow that the market will ever return to the days of crude at $100 a barrel after a two-year rout. North Sea producers such as Ithaca, Tullow Oil, EnQuest and Premier Oil, whose balance sheets remain under pressure as a halving in oil prices in two years slashed revenues, have beefed up their hedging positions. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - In Tesoro's buy of Western Refining, a bet on Texas 

U.S. oil refiner Tesoro Corp's $4.1 billion purchase of Western Refining Inc is a bet on many things, but above all it may be a bet on Texas. The largest refining acquisition since 2011, announced earlier on Thursday, will make Tesoro the fourth-biggest U.S. refiner by capacity. The acquisition fills a hole in Tesoro's portfolio by giving it access to pipelines and refineries that connect to Texas' lucrative Permian shale basin. In the formation, lower-cost drilling has helped boost activity substantially as production has rebounded in 2016 after a two-year rout. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 18 - Shell's North Sea oil trading draws spotlight again this year 

Royal Dutch Shell has snapped up a large volume of North Sea oil that helps set the global Brent benchmark, trade sources said, the second time this year that its trading activities have attracted the glare of the spotlight. Shell, the world's second-largest oil company, runs some of Europe's biggest refineries, including the 404,000-barrels-per-day Pernis facility, and is one of the biggest traders in the North Sea crude market, the home of the Brent benchmark. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - OPEC ready to reach 'forceful' deal on cutting oil output - Maduro 

OPEC countries are ready to reach a "forceful" agreement on cutting oil output, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday, following a meeting with OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo in Caracas. "There is sufficient will among OPEC countries to take the step we need to take in the month of November, (to reach) a forceful agreement to reduce production and construct new mechanisms to stabilize the market," Maduro said in a televised broadcast from the presidential palace. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - U.S. crude stockpiles rise on heavier imports - EIA 

U.S. crude oil inventories rose more than expected last week on increased imports and a build at the storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose for the third consecutive week, increasing 5.3 million barrels in week ended Nov. 11, compared with expectations for an increase of 1.5 million barrels. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 17 - Trump's empty threat to stop buying Saudi oil: Kemp 

President-elect Donald Trump is very unlikely to restrict imports of crude oil from Saudi Arabia despite threats to do so issued during the election campaign. Trump is first and foremost a showman and impresario rather than a policy wonk. Much of what he said on the campaign trail was intended to mobilise support rather than provide a detailed programme for government. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Oil wars: how Kremlin's $13 bln Indian deal almost fell apart 

A multi-billion-dollar Russian deal to buy Indian refiner Essar was nearly sunk at the eleventh hour by a rival bid from Saudi Arabia as the two oil superpowers vie for supremacy across the world. The deal between Essar and a consortium led by Kremlin oil giant Rosneft appeared dead in the water two months ago after Saudi state energy firm Aramco weighed in, according to seven Russia, India and Saudi-based industry sources familiar with or involved in the negotiations. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Los Angeles gasoline jumps after PBF refinery fire -source 

Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices jumped 20 cents a gallon on Tuesday night after the gasoline-producing unit was shut at PBF Energy Inc's Torrance, California, refinery following a fire, a West Coast market source said. The fire was on a line near the refinery's hydrofluoric acid alkylation unit, said Torrance Fire Department Captain Bob Milea. No release of hydrofluoric acid from the alkylation unit was detected. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Saudi, Russian energy ministers may meet in Doha ahead of OPEC - sources 

Saudi Arabian and Russia energy ministers could meet in Qatar this week on the sidelines of a major energy forum, industry sources said on Tuesday as OPEC and non-OPEC members try again to clinch an oil output limiting deal. In September, OPEC agreed at a meeting in Algeria on modest, preliminary, oil output cuts in the first such deal since 2008, with special conditions given to Libya, Nigeria and Iran, whose output has been hit by wars and sanctions. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Dakota Access pipeline protests spread, firms fight back 

Demonstrators fanned out across North America on Tuesday to demand the U.S. government halt or reroute the Dakota Access pipeline as the companies behind the controversial project asked a federal court for permission to complete it. In what organizers said were the largest demonstrations to date against the pipeline, thousands of people rallied outside Army Corps of Engineers offices, banks and energy companies, a day after the Obama administration delayed granting a permit needed to finish the project. There were arrests in North Dakota, where the most heated protests took place. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Toilets, trade and towns; boom time for Asia's plastic makers 

From India's plan to plumb in over 100 million toilets in six years to China's ambitious new Silk Road network and the continued movement of millions of people into cities across Asia, plastic makers face years of strong demand. And, because they are closer to end-users and manufacturing hubs, Asian petrochemical makers are best placed to ride the boom. Their profits and share prices are rising and they're investing in new projects to expand their business. Click here to read full stories.

Nov 16 - Niger Delta militants claim attack on Nembe Creek pipeline 

Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) said on Tuesday it had attacked the Nembe Creek Trunk Line pipeline in the southern Niger Delta in a blow to the government's efforts to quell militancy in the region. The group, after saying in August it would halt hostilities to pursue talks with the government, said on Sunday that it had resumed attacks because of the continued presence of the army in the region. Click here to read full stories.