Energy News

Feb 22 - US oil refiners cut run-rates to lowest level in two years
U.S. oil refiners this quarter have extensive outages that will cut overall plant utilization rates to the lowest levels in the past two years, according to executive comments and analysts' forecasts. The industry has been running nearly full-bore since 2022 when travel and fuel demand rebounded from depressed COVID-19 levels. The high run-rates and relatively stable oil prices have been a boon for industry profits.

Feb 22 - Western Hemisphere oil output surges, with a helping hand from OPEC - Kemp
Oil producers in the Western Hemisphere have captured all the increase in global oil consumption over the last decade, reversing the previous trend towards production becoming concentrated in the Eastern Hemisphere. With consumption growth increasingly focused on the Eastern Hemisphere, the predominant east-to-west flow of crude oil and refined products across the oceans has been reversed, transforming the energy security picture.


Feb 21 - Biden administration to approve E15 gasoline expansion starting in 2025, sources say
The White House will approve a request from a group of Midwest governors to allow year-round sales of gasoline with higher blends of ethanol, but will push the start date into next year, two sources familiar with discussions said. The decision will likely be bittersweet for the biofuel industry, which wants to expand sales of corn-based ethanol but might be frustrated by the 2025 start date.

Feb 21 - Prompt US crude futures jump to steep premium over later-dated contracts
The premium for prompt U.S. crude futures to the second-month contract more than doubled on Tuesday, hitting a high of $1.90 a barrel - its widest level in roughly four months. The structure, known as backwardation, occurs when the front-month contract is at a premium to later-dated contracts and can indicate tightness in the market. It gives energy companies little incentive to pay to store their product for future months, but rather to sell while prices are firmer.


Feb 20 - Saudi crude exports dipped in December after three months of gains
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in December fell for the first time in four months, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday. Crude exports from the world's largest oil exporter fell 0.4% to 6.308 million barrels per day (bpd), down from 6.336 million bpd in November.

Feb 20 - Some stranded Russian Sokol oil cargoes begin to move to China, India
Three tankers with Russian Sokol oil that had been stranded at sea due to payment problems and Western sanctions have started to move towards China and India, data from Kpler and LSEG showed on Monday. The backlog of Sokol tankers has become the biggest disruptions to Russia's oil trade since the West imposed sanctions on Moscow over its military actions in Ukraine.


Feb 19 - US refinery M&A stalls as buyers shun aging assets, uncertain future
The U.S. oil industry saw nearly $200 billion in upstream deals last year, but the refining sector missed out despite plenty of willing sellers as the energy transition away from fossil fuels accelerates and casts doubt over the long-term value of aging U.S. refineries. The growing number of operators looking to sell assets reflects the hope that a post-pandemic surge in margins - which for some products nearly quadrupled in 2022 - might have opened up a rare window to exit assets profitably.

Feb 19 - Second Trump presidency would axe Biden climate agenda, gut energy regulators
U.S. President Joe Biden has spent years implementing programs to fight climate change by advancing renewable energy and imposing tougher regulations on fossil fuels. Much of that work could go up in smoke if his likely rival Donald Trump beats him at the polls in November, according to Republican policy advisers.

Feb 16 - Oil demand growth slowing as non-OPEC supply expands, says IEA
Global oil demand growth is losing momentum, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday as it trimmed its 2024 growth forecast, in sharp contrast to the view held by producer group OPEC. The IEA, which represents industrialised countries, has predicted that oil demand will peak by 2030 as the world shifts to cleaner energy. OPEC, meanwhile, expects oil use to keep rising for the next two decades.

Feb 16 - Going green at 50? IEA climate pivot debated at anniversary meeting
Energy ministers, oil executives and green investors gathered this week to mark a half-century since the formation of the International Energy Agency and to assess its new role as the world's shepherd toward a green future from a fossil fuel past. The industrialised world's energy watchdog has shifted its focus on traditional oil and gas supply security to championing renewables and climate action — and for some at the gathering, this undermines its role as an impartial energy authority.


Feb 15 - UK and Japan slip into recession (Reuters)

- Britain's economy fell into a recession in the second half of 2023, a tough backdrop for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak who has promised to boost growth ahead of an election expected later this year. The GDP contracted by a worse-than-expected 0.3% in the three months to December, official data showed.

- Britain is not alone. Japan also slipped into a recession at the end of last year, losing its title as the world's third-biggest economy to Germany and raising doubts about when the central bank would begin to exit its ultra-loose monetary policy. The GDP fell an annualized 0.4% in the October-December period.


Feb 15 - Oil majors rejigger portfolios with $30-per-barrel price in mind
Oil majors are targeting new oilfields that can be profitable even if oil prices fall to about $30 per barrel, using a third year of rising demand to reshape portfolios amid uncertainty over the industry's future. Investors have not returned to oil stocks despite recent high earnings. Even the world’s lowest-cost oil producer, Saudi Aramco, has joined the rush to cut costs.

Feb 15 - China-, US-led global refill of depleted oil stocks seen buoying demand
A push to replenish depleted oil stocks notably in China, the United States and Europe could buoy demand and prices in coming months, analysts and traders said, as tensions in the Middle East threaten key shipping lanes. Heavily depleted by supply disruptions wrought by sanctions on Russia in the middle of 2022, as well as protracted OPEC+ output cuts, global oil inventories have barely recovered with traders unable to justify the costs for storing oil.


Feb 14 - OPEC sticks to oil demand view, sees better economic growth
OPEC on Tuesday stuck to its forecast for relatively strong growth in global oil demand in 2024 and 2025 and raised its economic growth forecasts for both years saying there was further upside potential. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, in a monthly report, said world oil demand will rise by 2.25 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2024 and by 1.85 million bpd in 2025. Both forecasts were unchanged from last month.

Feb 14 - Why Endeavor Energy's founder sold his company after years of rebuffing offers
For years, Endeavor Energy founder Autry Stephens' refusal to entertain acquisition offers for one of the most lucrative producers in the U.S. oil patch vexed some of his peers. "It's not for sale, it hasn't been for sale, it's probably not going to ever sell," Pioneer Natural Resources' former CEO Scott Sheffield, a contemporary of Stephens, told a Barclays energy conference in 2021 about his interest in buying Endeavor.


Feb 13 - Saudi Aramco starts trading US crude that helps set Brent oil benchmark
Saudi state oil company Aramco has started trading a U.S. crude oil grade that underpins the global Brent benchmark in a process run by oil-index publisher S&P Global Commodity Insights, the publisher said on Monday. Aramco, the world's largest oil company, has been expanding its trading activity. The company could not immediately be reached for comment on Monday after Saudi business hours.

Feb 13 - US oil output from top shale regions to rise in March - EIA
U.S. oil output from top shale-producing regions will rise in March to its highest in four months, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday in its monthly Drilling Productivity Report. Production from the top basins will rise by nearly 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.7 million bpd, its highest since December, the EIA said.


Feb 12  - Diamondback, Endeavor Energy in talks to create $50 billion company, sources say
U.S. shale oil rivals Diamondback Energy and Endeavor Energy Resources are close to finalizing a roughly $25 billion cash-and-stock deal that would create an oil and gas company valued at more than $50 billion, sources said on Sunday. Diamondback could announce a transaction as soon as Monday that would give its shareholders more than half of the combined companies, the people said, which would become the largest, pure-play oil producer in the Permian shale field.

Feb 12  - Premium of US oil over natgas hits 11-year high on natgas price plunge
The collapse of U.S. natural gas prices this week elevated the oil-to-gas ratio to its highest since May 2012, which should prompt energy firms to drill for more oil and less gas. Gas prices collapsed to a three-year low for a third day in a row on Friday, having fallen by 28% so far this year, on near record output and as mostly warmer-than-normal weather this winter depressed demand for heating.


Feb 09 - US oil refiners beat Wall Street bets, expect demand to grow in 2024
Major U.S. fuelmakers beat Wall Street's earnings expectations in the fourth quarter on strong refining margins and operating performance, and they predicted profits would rise again this year thanks to global demand growth. For 2023, three of the biggest U.S. independent refiners - Marathon Petroleum, Phillips 66, and Valero Energy - posted combined adjusted earnings of $25.7 billion. While that beat forecasts, it was down from combined profits of $33.9 billion in 2022, when market disruptions from sanctions on Russia's energy industry drove record earnings.

Feb 09 - Russia's refinery damage casts doubt on OPEC+ supply cut commitments
Damage to refineries from drone attacks and technical outages led Russia to export more crude than it planned in February, potentially undermining its pledge to curb sales under an OPEC+ pact. Under the deal with the OPEC+ group of leading oil producers Russia is capping its crude oil production at 9.5 million barrels per day (bpd). It is also voluntarily reducing exports of crude oil and fuel by 300,000 bpd and 200,000 bpd of fuel respectively from the average May-June level.


Feb 08 - Big Oil offers record returns to lure investors back
Big Oil firms are handing shareholders more money than ever and are promising more going forward in an attempt to reassure investors of their discipline and resilience in the face of an uncertain outlook for fossil fuels. The top five Western oil and gas firms -BP, Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Shell and TotalEnergies - returned to shareholders over $111 billion in dividends and share repurchases in 2023, according to Reuters calculation.

Feb 08 - U.S. Permian deal frenzy dims U.S. oil output growth prospects for 2024
Oil production in the prodigious Permian shale basin in Texas and New Mexico this year will see the slowest annual growth since 2021, according to market participants, as a slew of acquisitions reduces activity among private drillers. Reduced growth in the Permian, the largest U.S. oilfield, will be a drag on overall gains in U.S. production. The slowdown comes even as output cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) have supported prices, giving an incentive for non-OPEC+ producers to pump more.


Feb 07 - Growth in US crude production to slow sharply in 2024, EIA says
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday cut its forecast for domestic oil growth in 2024 by 120,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 170,000 bpd, sharply lower than last year's output increase of 1.02 million bpd. U.S. crude oil production will rise to 13.21 million barrels per day (bpd) this year, the EIA said in its Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO). It had previously projected that crude production would rise this year by 290,000 bpd.

Feb 07 - US crude oil exports to Asia dip in January on high freight rates
U.S. crude oil exports to Asia tumbled to 1 million barrels per day in January, the lowest in over two years as high freight rates and more competitively-priced Middle Eastern oils slashed shipments. A surge in supertanker freight rates made it expensive to ship to Asia at the start of the month, particularly to China.


Feb 06 - Saudi Arabia keeps Arab Light crude price to Asia unchanged in surprise move
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia unexpectedly kept March price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asia unchanged at a more than two-year low, an Aramco statement showed on Tuesday, as the OPEC leader strives to maintain its market share. Saudi Aramco set the official selling price (OSP) for March-loading Arab Light to Asia at $1.50 a barrel over the Oman/Dubai average, same level as the previous month. The state oil giant made its biggest cut on the OSP in 13 months for February cargoes to a 27-month low amid competition from rival suppliers.

Feb 06 - Exxon shareholder proposal withdrawal may end lawsuit: judge
Exxon Mobil told a federal judge on Monday that the lawsuit it filed against two shareholder activists should continue even after the groups withdrew a climate resolution, as the largest U.S. energy company tried to keep the suit going despite a skeptical comment from the court. Exxon's filing came in response to an order issued on Friday in which U.S. District Judge Mark Pittman told Exxon to file a status update "on or before" Monday as to what claims or issues remain before the court.


Feb 05 - Venezuela's January oil exports fell 25% amid outages at terminal
Venezuela's exports of crude and refined products fell by 25% in January to some 624,000 barrels per day (bpd) as power outages hit the main oil export terminal, according to vessel tracking data and internal documents from state oil firm PDVSA. The U.S. this week said it would reimpose energy sanctions in April if President Nicolas Maduro's administration does not stick to a deal to accept conditions for a fair presidential election. Analysts said this would hurt the country's ability to collect cash from its crude exports.

Feb 05 - Exxon pursues lawsuit despite activist investor climb-down
Exxon Mobil said Friday it will continue to pursue a lawsuit against two activist investors even after they withdrew a shareholder proposal on climate change, setting up a clash over what constitutes legitimate debate between a public company and its owners. Exxon had taken the rare step in January of filing the lawsuit to block the shareholder measure from being voted on at its annual meeting.


Feb 02 - OPEC+ to review oil cut extension in March, ministers leave policy unchanged
OPEC+ will decide in March whether or not to extend voluntary oil production cuts in place for the first quarter, two OPEC+ sources said on Thursday after a ministerial panel meeting made no changes to the group's output policy. Last November, OPEC+ agreed to voluntary output cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first quarter of this year led by Saudi Arabia rolling over a 1 million bpd voluntary reduction.

Feb 02 - Power loss forces BP to shut biggest US Midwest refinery
BP was purging its 435,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Whiting, Indiana, refinery of hydrocarbons on Thursday after a transformer failure caused a plant-wide power outage and forced an evacuation of all but the most essential workers, said people familiar with plant operations. It is not yet clear how long it will take BP to restart the refinery, which is the company's largest in North America and the biggest in the Midwest, said the two sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly.


Feb 01 - Shell's 2023 profit falls 30% to $28 billion, dividend boosted
Shell reported a 2023 profit of $28 billion, down 30% from the previous year's record as oil and gas prices cooled, still allowing the firm to increase its dividend by 4% and extend its share repurchases. Shell posted fourth-quarter adjust earnings, its definition of net profit, of $7.3 billion, exceeding analysts' expectations of $6 billion profit but down from a record $9.8 billion a year earlier.

Feb 01 - Russian oil flows through Red Sea still face lower risks
Tankers carrying Russian oil have continued sailing through the Red Sea largely uninterrupted by Houthi attacks on shipping and face lower risks than competitors, according to shipping executives, analysts and flows data. Russia has become more dependent on trade through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea since it invaded Ukraine, which led to Europe imposing sanctions on Russian imports and forced Moscow to export most of its crude to China and India. Before the war, Russia exported more to Europe.


Jan 31 - Saudi Arabia orders Aramco to lower oil capacity target
Saudi Arabia's government on Tuesday ordered state oil company Aramco to halt its oil expansion plan and to target a maximum sustained production capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd), 1 million bpd below a target announced in 2020. Saudi Arabia for decades has been the main holder of the world's only significant spare oil capacity, providing a safety cushion for global supplies in case of major disruptions caused by conflict or natural disasters.

Jan 31 - Return of US oil sanctions on Venezuela to hit revenue, fuel imports
A reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil and gas sectors would hurt the OPEC country's ability to collect cash from its oil exports, crimp new energy investments and raise the risks of domestic fuel scarcity, analysts and executives said. Washington this week ordered a wind down of all business transactions between U.S entities and Venezuela's state miner Minerven, and said it would unwind in April its easing of energy sanctions if President Nicolas Maduro's administration does not stick to an agreement signed last year to accept conditions for a fair presidential election.


Jan 30 - Russia's Urals oil rises above $60 Western price cap as Brent strengthens
Russia's Urals oil price rose above the $60 a barrel cap imposed by Western nations on Monday as Brent climbed, while freight rates were relatively soft despite new U.S. sanctions and rising tensions in the Red Sea, traders said and Reuters calculations showed. The U.S., other Group of Seven (G7) countries and Australia imposed the cap last year, seeking to reduce Russia's revenue from seaborne oil exports as part of sanctions prompted by its invasion of Ukraine.

Jan 30 - California and Big Oil are splitting after century-long affair
It is the end of an era for Big Oil in California, as the most populous U.S. state divorces itself from fossil fuels in its fight against climate change. The two largest U.S. oil producers, Exxon Mobil and Chevron, will formally disclose a combined $5 billion writedown of California assets when they report fourth-quarter results.


Jan 29 - Trafigura assesses Red Sea risks after tanker attacked by Houthis
Commodities trader Trafigura said on Saturday it was assessing the security risks of further Red Sea voyages after firefighters put out a blaze on a tanker attacked by Yemen's Houthi group a day earlier. The U.S. military said a U.S. Navy ship and other vessels provided assistance after the Marlin Luanda was hit by a Houthi anti-ship missile.

Jan 29 - OPEC+ unlikely to decide oil policy on Feb 1, will wait several weeks
OPEC+ will likely decide its oil production levels for April and beyond in the coming weeks, OPEC+ sources said, adding that a meeting of a key ministerial panel next Thursday would take place too early to take decisions on further output policy. Leading ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, will meet online.


Jan 26 - Ukrainian drones hit Rosneft refinery in Russia
Ukrainian drones attacked a Rosneft-owned oil refinery in southern Russia in the latest such strike on Russian energy infrastructure, a Ukrainian source said on Thursday. Local officials in Russia said there was a fire overnight at the export-oriented unit in the town of Tuapse, but it was extinguished.

Jan 26 - Valero Energy's Q4 profit beat Wall Street estimates
Refiner Valero Energy's fourth quarter earnings beat Wall Street estimates on better than expected results from refining and ethanol production, the company said on Thursday. Overall results in the fourth quarter of 2023 fell. Results pulled back from record levels touched in 2022 following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


Jan 25 - US crude stockpiles slump, gasoline builds amid winter storms - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles slumped while gasoline inventories jumped last week after winter weather hit crude production and imports, refining, and demand for fuel, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell by 9.2 million barrels to 420.7 million barrels in the week ending Jan. 19, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.1 million-barrel draw.

Jan 25 - IEA to expedite 2025 oil demand forecast after OPEC's early move
The International Energy Agency plans to bring forward publication of its first 2025 oil demand forecast in its monthly report by two or three months to April, the agency told Reuters, after OPEC expedited its forecast by six months. "We plan to publish the 2025 forecast in April as opposed to June/July previously," Toril Bosoni, head of the IEA's Oil Industry and Markets Division, told Reuters in response to an emailed question.


Jan 24 - Halliburton tops profit estimates, upbeat on overseas growth
Halliburton beat quarterly profit expectations on Tuesday, helped by strength in its drilling and evaluation business, especially in overseas markets, sending its shares up more than 2%. With a better economic environment and acreages internationally, oilfield services are setting their sights outside the United States to grow, with the North American segment dominated by higher efficiencies but fewer wells.

Jan 24 - US oil and gas dealmaking reaches fever-pitch in 2023, Enverus says
Blockbuster takeovers by oil and gas majors pushed the value of U.S. energy dealmaking last year to a record $192 billion, more than triple the amount in 2022, according to data from analytics firms Enverus on Tuesday. Acquisitions in the Permian shale basin straddling West Texas and New Mexico, the largest U.S. oilfield, soared in the last two years as oil prices jumped on strong demand after Russia's invasion of Ukraine and producers sought producing wells to guarantee future supplies.


Jan 23 - Sunoco to buy NuStar Energy in $7.3 billion deal
Sunoco said on Monday it would acquire fuels storage and pipeline operator NuStar Energy in a deal valued at about $7.3 billion including debt, as it tries to diversify its core business beyond distribution of motor fuels. The equity portion of the deal comes up to $2.99 billion, and NuStar's shareholders stand to receive 0.400 of a Sunoco share for each NuStar unit they hold, valuing Sunoco's shares at $23.78. That represents a premium of 31.9% to NuStar's last closing price.

Jan 23 - Saudi Arabia's November crude exports hit 5-month high
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in November climbed to their highest level in five months and marked a third straight rise, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative showed on Monday. Crude exports from the world's largest oil exporter rose 0.6% to 6.336 million barrels per day (bpd) from 6.297 million bpd in October.


Jan 22 - Russia suspends operations at fuel export terminal after suspected Ukrainian drone attack
Russian energy company Novatek said on Sunday it had been forced to suspend some operations at a huge Baltic Sea fuel export terminal due to a fire started by what Ukrainian media said was a drone attack. The giant Ust-Luga complex, located on the Gulf of Finland about 170 km (110 miles) west of St. Petersburg, is used to ship oil and gas products to international markets.

Jan 22 - Europe, Africa crude market tightens on Red Sea disruptions, China demand
The Brent crude market structure and some physical markets in Europe and Africa are reflecting tighter supply resulting partly from concern about shipping delays due to vessels avoiding the Red Sea, according to traders, LSEG data and analysts. The disruptions have combined with other factors such as outages and rising Chinese demand to increase competition for crude supply that does not have to transit the Suez Canal, and analysts say this is most evident in European markets.


Jan 19 - Two diverted oil tankers enter Red Sea but disruptions continue
Two oil tankers that had diverted away from the Red Sea have turned back and passed through the Bab al-Mandab Strait, ship-tracking data shows, though tensions in the region continued to disrupt global shipping and trade. The vessels' return, as tracked by LSEG and Kpler, comes nearly a week after the United States and Britain launched strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen in retaliation for the militant group's protracted attacks on commercial shipping since November.

Jan 19 - US crude stockpiles fall more than expected on strong refiner demand - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell more than expected last week on strong demand from refineries, while gasoline and distillate inventories rose to multi-year highs, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday. Crude inventories fell by 2.5 million barrels to 429.9 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 12, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 313,000-barrel draw.


Jan 18 - In first look at 2025, OPEC expects robust oil demand growth
OPEC on Wednesday stuck to its forecast for relatively strong growth in global oil demand in 2024 and said 2025 will see a robust increase in oil use, led by China and the Middle East, in a surprise early prediction. The 2025 forecast is in line with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' view oil use will keep rising for the next two decades, in contrast to bodies such as the International Energy Agency, which predicts it will peak by 2030 as the world shifts to cleaner energy.

Jan 18 - IEA's Birol predicts 'comfortable' oil market despite Red Sea disruption
The IEA expects oil markets to be in a "comfortable and balanced position" this year, despite Middle East tensions amid a rising supply and slowing demand growth outlook, its executive director Fatih Birol told the Reuters Global Markets Forum on Wednesday. "If we don't see any major geopolitical surprises, I expect this year a comfortable oil market, a more balanced oil market," the International Energy Agency's Birol said on the sidelines of the WEF's annual meeting in Davos.


Jan 17 - Deep freeze hits US oil industry from North Dakota to Texas
A severe winter storm shut a U.S. Gulf Coast refinery in Texas on Tuesday, triggered malfunctions at others and halved North Dakota oil production as it dumped snow and rain across a broad swath of the nation. TotalEnergies' 238,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, was examining units after a plantwide power outage on Tuesday morning as a winter storm brought frigid temperatures to the U.S. Gulf Coast, sources familiar with the company's operations said.

Jan 17 - BP names Auchincloss permanent CEO
BP on Wednesday named Murray Auchincloss permanent CEO, four months after he was given the interim job following the sudden resignation of Bernard Looney over undisclosed relationships with employees. Auchincloss, who headed BP's finances under Looney, indicated he will continue a strategy aimed at slashing carbon emissions, building up its renewables and clean fuel capacity and cutting oil and gas output by 2030.


Jan 16 - More oil tankers shun southern Red Sea after US-led strikes in Yemen
At least six more oil tankers were steering clear of the southern Red Sea on Monday, as disruptions increase on the vital route for energy shipping in the wake of U.S.-led strikes against Houthi targets in Yemen. Following the U.S. and British strikes, the U.S.-led Combined Maritime Forces based in Bahrain on Friday warned all ships to avoid the Bab al-Mandab Strait at the south end of the Red Sea for several days, tanker body INTERTANKO said.

Jan 16 - Russia's NORSI refinery may halve high-octane gasoline output after outages – sources
Lukoil's NORSI oil refinery in Nizhny Novgorod may halve high-octane gasoline output after an emergency stoppage at one of two plant's catalytic cracking unit, industry sources said on Monday. Russian news agencies later issued contradictory reports on Russian authorities' response to the incident at Lukoil's plant.


Jan 15 - Trans Mountain oil pipeline change approved by Canadian regulator
The Canada Energy Regulator on Friday approved a request for a change in construction for the final stretch of the Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project, clearing the path for its completion early this year. The C$30.9-billion expansion will nearly triple the flow of crude on Trans Mountain from Alberta to Canada's Pacific Coast but has been plagued by years of delays and cost overruns.

Jan 15 - North Dakota oil output off by up to 280,000 bpd due to cold weather - Pipeline Authority
North Dakota oil production has fallen by an estimated 250,000 to 280,000 barrels per day due to freezing weather, while natural gas output in the state declined by 700 million to 800 million cubic feet per day, the North Dakota Pipeline Authority estimated on Sunday. An Arctic blast is blanketing much of the United States, driving up power demand but also straining supplies as frigid temperatures curtail some oil and gas production. Power and gas supply disruptions have already occurred in parts of the country, including an outage on a natural gas pipeline in the Northwest over the weekend.


Jan 12 - Iran seizes oil tanker involved in U.S.-Iran dispute in Gulf of Oman
Iran seized a tanker with Iraqi crude destined for Turkey on Thursday in retaliation for the confiscation last year of the same vessel and its oil by the U.S., Iranian state media reported, a move likely to stoke regional tensions. The seizure of the Marshall Islands-flagged St Nikolas coincides with weeks of attacks by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi militias targeting Red Sea shipping routes.

Jan 12 - China's 2023 crude oil imports hit record as fuel demand recovers
China's annual crude oil imports hit an all-time high in 2023, customs data showed, as fuel demand recovered from a pandemic-induced slump despite economic headwinds. China imported 11% more crude oil last year versus 2022 at 563.99 million metric tons, equivalent to 11.28 million barrels per day, up from a previous record of 10.81 million bpd in 2020, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.


Jan 11 - US oil stockpiles rise more than forecast, distillates build to Sept 2021 high
U.S. crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week and fuel inventories grew by more than expected, with distillates building to their highest level in over two years, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 5 to 432.4 million barrels, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 700,000-barrel drop.

Jan 11 - Surging tanker rates close the door on US crude oil shipments to Asia
The economic incentive to import oil from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Asia has closed as the cost of booking supertankers on the route has surged amid a jump in bookings for the vessels, traders said this week. With the arbitrage for U.S. shipments closed, Asian refiners may make up some of the difference with similar Middle Eastern crude oil after top regional producer Saudi Arabia cut their sales prices for February, which is expected to carry over to other regional crudes.


Jan 10 - US oil output to touch a record high in 2024, but growth will slow - EIA
U.S. crude production will hit records over the next two years but grow at a slower rate, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday, as efficiency gains offset a decline in rig activity. The rise in U.S. output comes as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are cutting their own output in a bid to boost oil prices.

Jan 10 - Indian refiners set to ask for extra Saudi oil after sharp price cut
Two Indian state refiners are seeking to boost imports of Saudi crude oil after the kingdom cut the official selling price of its key export grade for February to the lowest in 27 months, company sources said. Indian Oil, the country's top refiner, and Bharat Petroleum, are looking at lifting an additional 1 million barrels of oil each from Saudi Aramco in February, the sources said.


Jan 09 - US judge clears way for more Venezuela creditors to join Citgo auction
A U.S. judge on Monday granted a large group of Venezuela-linked creditors rights to participate and receive proceeds from a coming auction of shares in the parent of Houston-based refiner Citgo Petroleum. A precedent-setting lawsuit by Canadian miner Crystallex Corp formally tied Venezuela-owned Citgo to the South American country's debts and opened the door to some $24 billion in claims being applied to the refining firm through an auction of shares in a Citgo parent whose only asset is the oil refiner.

Jan 09 - Oil tankers continue Red Sea movements despite Houthi attacks
Oil and fuel tanker traffic in the Red Sea was stable in December, even though many container ships have rerouted due to attacks by Iran-aligned Houthi militants, a Reuters analysis of vessel tracking data showed. The attacks have driven up shipping costs sharply along with insurance premiums, but have had less impact than feared on oil flows, with shippers continuing to use the key East-West passage.

Jan 08 - Saudi Arabia cuts Feb Arab Light crude price to Asia to 27-month low
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia on Sunday cut the February price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asian customers to the lowest level in 27 months, a company statement showed, amid competition from rival suppliers and concerns about supply overhang. Saudi Aramco slashed the official selling price (OSP) for February-loading Arab Light to Asia by $2 a barrel from January to $1.50 a barrel over Oman/Dubai quotes, a level last seen for November 2021.

Jan 08 - Iran's oil trade with China stalls as Tehran demands higher prices
China's oil trade with Iran has stalled as Tehran withholds shipments and demands higher prices from its top client, tightening cheap supply for the world's biggest crude importer, refinery and trade sources said. The cutback in Iranian oil, which makes up some 10% of China's crude imports and hit a record in October, could support global prices and squeeze profits at Chinese refiners.

Jan 05 - US fuel inventories surge as refiners boost runs, post holiday lull
U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories posted large builds last week as demand slipped, while crude stocks fell more than expected, the Energy Information Administration said on Thursday, news that sank prices for crude, gasoline and heating oil. U.S. gasoline stocks rose by 10.9 million barrels, the largest build since May 1993, to 237 million barrels in the week to Dec 29, the EIA said, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 215,000 barrel drop.

Jan 05 - APA to acquire rival Callon Petroleum in $4.5 billion deal
U.S. oil producer APA said on Thursday it was buying rival Callon Petroleum in an all-stock transaction valued at $4.5 billion including debt, following on the heels of a record year for dealmaking in the largest U.S. shale field. Callon's assets will add heft to APA's operations in the Permian shale basin of West Texas and New Mexico, with about 145,000 drilling acres that puts nearly 64% of APA's production in the United States.


Jan 04 - Venezuela's 2023 oil exports rose, aided by US sanctions easing
Venezuela's oil exports increased 12% last year to almost 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) as the United States eased sanctions imposed since 2019 on the OPEC country's energy sector, according to data and documents viewed by Reuters. The increase shows the impact of sanctions relaxation on the country's oil exports, and the degree to which further gains could remain limited by the need for stable policies and capital to rebuild Venezuela's crude production, which rose at a slower rate than exports last year.

Jan 04 - OPEC+ promises unity as group plans monitoring meeting
OPEC said on Wednesday cooperation and dialogue within the wider OPEC+ producer alliance will continue, after OPEC member Angola last month said it would quit, and that it plans a Feb. 1 meeting to review implementation of its latest oil output cut. Continued cooperation within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia will benefit "all producers, consumers and investors, as well as the global economy at large," OPEC said in a statement.


Jan 03 - Saudi Arabia may cut Feb Arab Light price premium to one-year low
Saudi Arabia may slash price premiums on all crude grades it sells to Asia in February to one-year-lows despite the escalation of tensions in the Red Sea, as concerns intensify that supply may outpace demand. The world's top oil exporter could cut the official selling price (OSP) for its flagship Arab Light crude over Oman/Dubai crude quotes by about $1.70 a barrel in February from the previous month, according to five refining sources surveyed by Reuters, which would be the grade's lowest premium in a year.

Jan 03 - OPEC+ set to hold monitoring meeting in early February
OPEC+ plans to hold a meeting of its Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee in early February, though an exact date has not been decided, three sources from the alliance said. OPEC+, which comprises the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, usually holds such meetings every two months to monitor the implementation of its production agreements.


Jan 02 - China issues 2024 crude import quotas, 60% more than year earlier – trade
China has released 179.01 million metric tons of crude import quotas for 2024, according to Chinese industry consultancies and trade sources on Tuesday, 60% more than the previous year. Fourty-one companies, mostly independent refiners, were given the fresh quotas, with some of them allotted full-year allowances, trade sources and consultancy JLC and Longzhong said. The quota issued in January last year was 111.82 million tons.

Jan 02 - ExxonMobil hands over operations at West Qurna 1 oilfield to PetroChina
U.S. energy giant ExxonMobil Corp has formally exited the West Qurna 1 oilfield in southern Iraq and handed over its operations to PetroChina as lead contractor, a deputy oil minister told Reuters on Monday. Senior Iraqi oil officials met with executives from ExxonMobil, PetroChina and Basra Oil Co on Monday at the West Qurna 1 field near Basra to mark Exxon's complete exit and the handover of its operations to PetroChina.


Dec 22 - Angola leaves OPEC in blow to oil producer group
Angola said on Thursday it would leave OPEC in a blow to the Saudi-led oil producer group that has sought in recent months to rally support for further output cuts to prop up oil prices. Angola's Oil Minister Diamantino Azevedo said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries no longer served the country's interests.

Dec 22 - China aims to keep domestic crude oil output stable at 4 million bpd
China will promote stable domestic crude oil production at 200 million metric tons per year, equivalent to 4 million barrels per day (bpd), according to a report from CCTV citing National Energy Administration Director Zhang Jianhua. The country should increase the exploration and development of deepwater and non-conventional assets, as well as maintaining stable output from mature fields, the report said.


Dec 21 - China oil output growth to slow in 2024 as supply harder to extract
China's surging oil production growth in recent years, the result of a concerted investment push, is expected to ease in 2024 as falling output from mature fields requires state oil companies to tap more challenging shale and ultra-deep reserves. While China is the world's biggest crude importer, it was also the world's sixth-largest crude oil producer last year, according to the EI Statistical Review of World Energy, with heavy investment helping to reverse a significant decline between 2015 and 2018.

Dec 21 - US Gulf of Mexico oil auction is largest since 2015
A Biden administration auction of Gulf of Mexico drilling rights raised $382 million on Wednesday as oil companies claimed offshore acreage for what is set to be the last time until 2025. The auction total was the highest of any federal offshore oil and gas lease sale since 2015, according to a Reuters tally.

Dec 20 - Mideast oil benchmarks wallow in discounts, lowest since 2020
Middle East crude benchmarks Dubai and Oman hit their lowest levels since 2022 as low pre-holiday liquidity, soft demand from top buyers China and Japan, and a prompt Omani oil sale weighed on the market, according to Reuters data and traders. The fall in benchmark prices may prompt world's top exporter Saudi Arabia to cut February term prices for a second straight month, traders said, despite extending its voluntary supply cut as part of OPEC+'s strategy to support prices. 

 

Dec 20 - China's fuel oil imports, bunker exports fall in November
China's fuel oil imports fell in November after rebounding in October, while exports for bunkering also fell, customs data showed. Imports totalled 1.21 million tons in November, down 33% from October and 17% lower from November last year, General Administration of Customs data showed.


Dec 19 - US seeks to claw back Russian oil trade under the G7 price cap
The United States will push shippers to disclose more information about their Russian oil dealings in a bid to enforce sanctions, U.S. officials said on Monday, while acknowledging that a big chunk of the trade has already escaped Western oversight after Russia built a parallel fleet. The Group of Seven countries (G7) agreed a price for Russian crude in December last year, which bans Western companies from providing maritime services including financing, insurance and shipping for oil sold above $60 per barrel.

Dec 19 - China Sinochem buys rare Venezuelan oil cargo after U.S. suspends sanctions
China's Sinochem Corp has bought a million barrels of Venezuelan crude oil for arrival in December, a rare purchase as the state oil and chemicals group capitalises on Washington's suspension of sanctions on the South American producer. In mid-October, Washington suspended sanctions on Venezuela's oil and gas exports for six months, prompting a flurry of spot trades of crude and fuel through Western traders such as Trafigura and Vitol as well as middlemen.


Dec 18 - Russia eyes additional oil export cuts of about 50,000 bpd in December - Novak says
Russia said on Sunday it would deepen oil export cuts in December by potentially 50,000 barrels per day or more, earlier than promised, as the world's biggest exporters try to support the global oil price. Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's two biggest oil exporters, called in December for all OPEC+ members to join an agreement on output cuts after a fractious meeting of the producers' club.

Dec 18 - Exxon's low US tax payments ruffle Biden's climate agenda

Exxon Mobil’s income tax payments to the U.S. government have dropped to 3% over the past five years – several times below the company’s 20-year average – on massive deductions passed under former President Donald Trump. Corporate tax experts say Exxon could enjoy low taxes for several more years, at a time when the government needs more money to fund an ambitious fight against climate change.


Dec 15 - World oil demand next year to rise faster than expected, IEA says
World oil demand will rise faster than expected next year, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday, a sign that the outlook for near-term oil use remains robust despite this week's COP28 agreement to transition away from fossil fuels. Despite the upgrade, there is still a sizeable gap between the IEA, which represents industrialised countries, and producer group OPEC over 2024 demand prospects.

Dec 15 - China's November oil refinery runs fall on prior month
China's oil refinery throughput in November fell versus the previous month as independent refiners cut run rates amid weak margins and crude oil imports slowed. Total refinery throughput in the world's second-largest oil consumer was 59.53 million metric tons, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.


Dec 14 - Oil investors to usher in 2024 amid oversupply, demand concerns
Oil investors will usher in 2024 with gnawing concerns about oversupply, slowing economic growth and simmering Middle East tension that could spark price volatility. Benchmark Brent averaged around $80 a barrel this year, after a volatile 2022 in which prices surged above $100 after Russian supplies were disrupted following the Ukraine war.

Dec 14 - Newcomer Elysian, Petrobras notch big wins in Brazil oil auction
Oil companies including Elysian along with veterans Petrobras and Chevron snapped up the most blocks up for grabs in Brazil's latest offshore oil auction marked by climate protests, as the South American nation looks to replenish reserves with new discoveries. Oil regulator ANP ran the tender that assigned 192 exploration and production areas out of more than 600 on offer, with newcomer Elysian winning 122 of them.


Dec 13 - Big Oil's bid to woo ESG investors fails to impress
A COP28 pledge by energy majors to reduce their emissions is not enough to convince many sustainable fund managers to include the companies in their portfolios because it omits pollution from the use of oil and gas, six interviews with Reuters show. The pledge by 50 of the biggest oil and gas companies at the U.N. climate talks in Dubai commits to reaching near-zero methane emissions by 2030 as well as net-zero carbon emissions in their energy use and production by 2050.

Dec 13 - Oil market comfortably supplied after OPEC+ cuts: Kemp
Current crude oil prices appear to be in line with market fundamentals, to the evident frustration of Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ partners trying to push them higher, which suggests their efforts may be in vain for now. Despite multiple rounds of OPEC+ production cuts since the fourth quarter of 2022, global petroleum stocks are close to the long-term average, while futures prices and calendar spreads are only slightly below average.


Dec 12 - Occidental lands $12 billion takeover of shale producer CrownRock
Occidental Petroleum on Monday agreed to buy closely-held U.S. shale oil producer CrownRock in a cash-and-stock deal valued at $12 billion including debt, expanding its presence in the largest U.S. shale oilfield. The deal comes amid a new wave of shale consolidation underpinned by Exxon Mobil's $60-billion proposed deal for Pioneer Natural Resources and Chevron's $53-billion agreement for Hess in October.

Dec 12 - Russian, Iranian oil sellers boost prices as Venezuelan crude rallies
Sellers of sanctioned oil from Russia and Iran are hiking offer prices to China after Venezuelan crude rallied following the suspension of U.S. sanctions on the South American producer, trade sources said. Washington's six-month waiver of sanctions on Venezuela has intensified competition for the OPEC producer's heavy oil, lifting prices and reducing supply to top buyer China.


Dec 11 - OPEC pursues charm offensive at COP28, for youths
Oil producer group OPEC held an event on the sidelines of the COP28 negotiations in Dubai on Sunday aimed at convincing young people to support fossil fuels, whose future has caused deep splits among delegates at the climate summit. Dubbed "Special Day – OPEC and the youth" the event included a presentation at its pavilion on the summit grounds, followed by what it called a campfire chat.

Dec 11 - Endeavor Energy explores sale for as much as $30 billion - sources
Endeavor Energy Partners is exploring a sale that could value the largest privately-held oil and gas producer in the Permian basin, the top U.S. oilfield, at between $25 billion and $30 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. The sale would come almost 45 years after Texas oilman Autry Stephens started the company that would become Endeavor.


Dec 08 - Woodside-Santos $52 billion merger clouded by competition, price concerns
Australia's Santos Ltd shares jumped on Friday on the prospects of a possible $52 billion merger with its bigger rival Woodside, but investors were cautious about the competition and valuation hurdles to a deal. Woodside and Santos after market hours on Thursday confirmed speculation they were in preliminary talks to create a major oil and gas company, with assets in Australia, Alaska, the Gulf of Mexico, Papua New Guinea, Senegal and Trinidad and Tobago.

Dec 08 - Russia and Saudi Arabia urge all OPEC+ powers to join oil cuts
Saudi Arabia and Russia, the world's two biggest oil exporters, on Thursday called for all OPEC+ members to join an agreement on output cuts for the good of the global economy only days after a fractious meeting of the producers' club. Hours after Russian President Vladimir Putin went to Riyadh in a hastily arranged visit to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Kremlin released a joint Russian-Saudi statement about the conclusion of their discussions.


Dec 07 - China crude oil imports post first year-on-year decline since April
China's crude oil imports in November fell 9.2% year-on-year, customs data showed on Thursday, in the first annual decline since April as high inventory levels, weak economic indicators and slowing orders from independent refiners weakened demand. Crude oil arrivals last month totalled 42.445 million metric tons, or 10.33 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the General Administration of Customs, the lowest daily rate since July and down from 11.53 million bpd in October.

Dec 07 - China's soft crude oil imports show impact of high prices: Russell
China's crude oil imports dropped to their weakest in four months in November, showing how high prices trumped bullish demand forecasts from leading industry participants such as OPEC and the International Energy Agency (IEA). China, the world's largest oil importer, saw arrivals of 42.445 million metric tons, equivalent to 10.33 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data released Thursday by the General Administration of Customs.


Dec 07 - Oil prices are crashing. Blame uncertain demand and booming US production - Business Insider


Ballooning global supply and an uncertain demand outlook is pulling oil prices lower, with US and global crude plunging to multi-month lows on Wednesday.

West Texas Intermediate plunged 4.12% to $69.37 a barrel, and Brent crude, the international benchmark, moved lower 3.68% to $74.39 a barrel.

The latest drop comes as federal data shows US gasoline inventories rising compared to a week prior, leading to futher questions about oil demand. At the same time, market are digesting a surge in US oil production, which notched all-time records in September and October.

The boom in US output has led some commentators to warn that OPEC+, particularly Saudi Arabia, could "flush" the market to counter America's shale oil boom. Flooding the market with oil would have the effect of crashing the price in order to push small suppliers out of the market.

Wednesday's drops add to a series of recent declines, moves which the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries has attempted to combat with announcements of production cuts led by Saudi Arabia. The country's energy minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salam, told Bloomberg earlier this week that lower supply could stay on the table past March.

Energy firm Kpler forecasts that Saudi Arabia will keep its one million barrel-a-day cuts through the duration of next year, but traders have doubted OPEC+ member states' commitment to the voluntary cuts, which has contributed to the recent string of declines.

"While you have OPEC+ cutting production, you have a variety of countries that are increasing production outside the group, and also inside too actually," Matt Smith, Kpler lead oil analyst for the Americas, told Business Insider. "The US has increased, Canada, Guyana, Brazil. And ironically, you have Venezuela and Iran within OPEC increasing. Basically you have OPEC+ making room for non-OPEC supply, while the demand picture starts to soften."

In the US, meanwhile, signs of softening economic conditions also point to waning activity in the world's largest economy. Gas prices have dropped to 11-month lows of $3.22 a barrel, per AAA, and the lower-than-expected reading on the ADP payroll data released Wednesday point to a cooling demand narrative.

"The oil market is increasingly sensitive to indications and suggestions that the economic landscape continues to ease," Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial said. "Weaker crude prices are reflective of a softening economy."

Softening demand can also be seen in China, which is dealing with a deepening economic malaise that's weighing on all sectors of its economy. Moody's on Tuesday downgraded its outlook on China's sovereign debt and pessimism over Beijing's ability to steer the country out of its real estate tumult, declining foreign investment, and sluggish economic activity present another headwind for crude prices.

"The four-day losing streak in oil is incentivizing high-level discussions among political leaders in the East, with the Kremlin head planning to visit the heads of Dubai and Riyadh today," according to José Torres, senior economist at Interactive Brokers. "The officials appear willing to curtail production further."


Dec 06 - Kremlin says OPEC+ cuts will kick in later, confirms Putin to visit Gulf
Oil production cuts agreed by the OPEC+ group will take time to kick in, the Kremlin said on Tuesday as it confirmed that President Vladimir Putin would visit the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Putin will also host Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Moscow the following day, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Dec 06 - Saudi Arabia cuts Jan Arab Light crude price to Asia – sources
Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia on Tuesday lowered the price of its flagship Arab Light crude to Asian customers in January for the first time in seven months, sources familiar with the matter said, reacting to weakening premiums in the physical market amidst supply overhang concerns. Saudi Aramco cut the official selling price (OSP) for January-loading Arab Light to Asia by 50 cents a barrel from December to $3.50 a barrel over Oman/Dubai quotes, the sources said.


Dec 05 - Venezuela's oil exports remain almost unchanged, middlemen seek deals
Venezuela's oil exports remained almost unchanged in November at 651,000 barrels per day (bpd) even as an easing of U.S. sanctions is now allowing sales to trading houses, according to shipping and tanker tracking data. Washington in October temporarily lifted oil sanctions on the country as a way to encourage a presidential election in 2024, which prompted spot sales of Venezuelan crude and fuel oil to traders mostly bound for China.

Dec 05 - Record U.S. oil output challenges Saudi mastery: Kemp
U.S. crude oil production set a record for the second month running in September, highlighting the challenge to Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ partners as they cut their own production to boost prices. Repeated OPEC+ output cuts since the fourth quarter of 2022 have thrown a lifeline to U.S. producers, averting a deeper slump in prices and conceding more market share to them.


Dec 04 - US issues fresh sanctions over shipment of Russian oil above price cap
The United States on Friday imposed additional sanctions related to the price cap on Russian oil, targeting three entities and three oil tankers as Washington seeks to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine. The U.S. Treasury Department accused those targeted on Friday of using Western maritime services such as transportation, insurance, and financing while carrying Russian crude oil above the $60-per-barrel price cap.

Dec 04 - India resumes imports of Venezuelan oil, Reliance seeks direct deal
Indian refiners have resumed Venezuelan oil purchases through intermediaries, with Reliance set to meet executives from state firm PDVSA next week to discuss direct sales following the easing of U.S. sanctions on the South American country, people familiar with the matter said. Trade resumed between the OPEC producer and the second largest destination for its oil after Washington in October temporarily lifted sanctions banning Venezuelan oil exports, prompting a flurry of spot sales of crude and fuel through middlemen and traders, mostly to China.


Dec 01 - OPEC+ agrees to deepen voluntary oil output cuts
OPEC+ oil producers on Thursday agreed to voluntary output cuts totalling about 2.2 million barrels per day (bpd) for early next year led by Saudi Arabia rolling over its current voluntary cut. Benchmark global oil prices settled down around 2%, in part because the reductions were voluntary and because of investor expectation ahead of the meeting that additional supply cuts might be deeper. 

 

Dec 01 - US crude production in September rose to monthly record - EIA
U.S. crude production in September rose to a new monthly record of 13.24 million barrels per day, helped by a large increase in North Dakota, home to the Bakken shale, Energy Information Administration data showed on Thursday. Crude output rose by 1.7%, the largest increase since March, the data showed.


Nov 30 - OPEC+ talks focusing on deeper oil cut, sources say
OPEC+ talks on 2024 oil policy ahead of a Thursday ministerial meeting were focusing on an additional oil supply cut to support the market, although the details were yet to be agreed, sources close to the group said. Saudi Arabia, Russia and other members of OPEC+ pump around 43 million barrels per day, or over 40% of global supply.

 

Nov 30 - Occidental in talks to buy Permian producer CrownRock – source
Occidental Petroleum is one of the finalists in the auction for CrownRock, an energy producer in the west Texas area of the Permian basin, with a bid of more than $10 billion, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters on Wednesday.  The sale process could see an outcome in a few days, the source said.


Nov 29 - OPEC+ talks tough, policy rollover possible, sources say
OPEC+ talks on 2024 oil policy are difficult, making a rollover of the previous agreement a possibility rather than deeper production cuts, four OPEC+ sources said on Tuesday. The OPEC+ group comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia is scheduled to meet online on Thursday to decide oil output levels for 2024, according to a draft agenda seen by Reuters on Monday.

Nov 29 - Black Sea storm disrupts Russian and Kazakh oil exports
A severe storm in the Black Sea region has disrupted up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports from Kazakhtsan and Russia, according to state's officials and port agent data. Oil loadings from Novorossiysk and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) terminal in nearby Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka have been suspended since last week.


Nov 28 - OPEC+ looking at deeper oil cuts ahead of Thursday meeting
OPEC+ is looking at deepening oil production cuts despite its policy meeting being postponed to this Thursday amid a quota disagreement between some producers, an OPEC+ source said on Monday. Several analysts have said they expect OPEC+ to extend or even deepen supply cuts into next year in order to support prices, which on Monday were trading just above $80 a barrel, down from near $98 in late September.

Nov 28 - Currency clashes sour Russia's oil trade with Asia
One of Russia's most lucrative oil trade routes since the imposition of Western sanctions over the Ukraine conflict faces a major challenge because of the drawbacks of payment in currency other than dollars, with no short-term solution in sight. For decades, the U.S. dollar has been the currency of international oil trade and efforts to find alternatives have been thwarted by the difficulties of conversion, as well as political obstacles.


Nov 27 - OPEC+ moving closer to compromise with African producers, sources say
OPEC+ has moved closer to a compromise with African oil producers on 2024 output levels, four OPEC+ sources told Reuters, after disagreements over those targets forced the group of oil-producing nations to postpone a key meeting. OPEC members Angola and Nigeria were aiming for a higher oil output allowance, officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Nov 27 - Greenpeace accuses China oil and gas firms of 'greenwashing' LNG purchases
Big oil and gas companies in China and elsewhere are using low-quality carbon offsets to "greenwash" their imports of natural gas while failing to make strong emissions cutting commitments, environment group Greenpeace said on Monday. Firms like PetroChina and CNOOC Gas and Power have signed long-term contracts with Shell to buy "carbon neutral" liquefied natural gas (LNG), which uses "forest offsets" to balance out carbon emissions.


Nov 24 - Angola, Nigeria target higher oil output amid OPEC+ talks
African members of OPEC+ producer group Angola and Nigeria are aiming for higher oil output, officials told Reuters on Thursday, a day after the group was forced to postpone talks on next year's production policy. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies such as Russia, known as OPEC+, on Wednesday delayed a ministerial meeting expected to discuss output cuts, a surprise move which sent oil prices sliding.  

 

Nov 24 - Greek shippers exit Russian oil trade as U.S. tightens price cap scrutiny
Three major Greek shipping firms have stopped transporting Russian oil in recent weeks in order to avoid U.S. sanctions now being imposed on some shipping firms carrying Russian oil, four traders told Reuters and shipping data showed. The development is a blow to Russia as it narrows the number of shipping firms that are ready to transport Russian oil to consumers in Asia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and South America - although traders said Moscow still had enough shipping firms for now.


Nov 23 - OPEC+ postpones policy meeting to Nov 30, oil falls
OPEC+ has delayed a ministerial meeting expected to discuss oil output cuts to Nov. 30 from Nov. 26 as producers struggled to agree on production levels and hence possible reductions, OPEC+ sources said, a surprise delay that sent oil prices sliding. Three OPEC+ sources said this was linked to African countries. OPEC+ said after its last meeting in June that the 2024 output quotas of Angola, Nigeria and Congo were conditional on reviews by outside analysts.

Nov 23 - Oil and gas investment could halve by 2030 to meet climate goal - IEA
The current $800 billion invested annually in the global oil and gas sector could be halved by 2030 if a goal to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is to be reached, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in a report Thursday. The report added that no new long-lead-time oil and gas sector projects would be needed if that goal were to be reached, and some current projects would need to be shuttered.


Nov 22 - IEA sees surplus oil supply in 2024 even if OPEC+ extends current cuts
The global oil market will see a slight surplus of supply in 2024 even if the OPEC+ nations extend their cuts into next year, the head of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) oil markets and industry division told Reuters on Tuesday. At the moment, however, the oil market is in a deficit and stocks are declining "at a fast rate", Toril Bosoni said on the sidelines of a conference in Oslo. 

 

Nov 22 - Russia basks in the oil price comfort zone ahead of OPEC+
As the world's most powerful oil producers ponder further supply cuts, Russia has little incentive for a radical change as its energy revenue is strong, oil prices are higher than its forecasts and its budget deficit is narrowing. Ministers from OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, meet on Sunday in Vienna.

 

Nov 21 - Russia remains China's top oil supplier in OctoberRussia remained China's top oil supplier in October, data showed on Monday, despite higher prices for Russian crude as Saudi Arabia continues to cut supply. China's imports from Russia - including supplies via pipelines and seaborne shipments - totalled 8.54 million metric tons, or 2.01 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, according to data from the General Administration of Customs.


Nov 21 - Japan oil industry group expects OPEC+ to extend supply curbsThe head of Japan's oil industry body said on Monday he expects OPEC+ to extend its supply curbs after December to support oil prices. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, is set to consider whether to make additional oil supply cuts when it meets on Nov. 26, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters after crude prices dropped by almost 20% since late September.


Nov 20 - OPEC+ to consider whether more oil cuts needed
OPEC+ is set to consider whether to make additional oil supply cuts when the group meets later this month, three OPEC+ sources told Reuters after prices dropped by almost 20 percent since late September. Oil has slid to around $79 a barrel for Brent crude from a 2023 high in September near $98. Concern about demand and a possible surplus next year has pressured prices, despite support from the OPEC+ cuts and conflict in the Middle East.


Nov 20 - China October gasoline exports fall 20% on year, diesel shipments up
China's gasoline exports fell 20% in October from a year earlier, data showed on Saturday, as domestic road travel surged during the Golden Week holiday. Gasoline shipments of 770,000 metric tons were down from last year's 1.0 million tons and below September's 1.09 million tons, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.


Nov 17 - US sanctions maritime companies, vessels for shipping oil above Russian price cap

The U.S. on Thursday imposed sanctions on maritime companies and vessels for shipping Russian oil sold above the G7's price cap, as Washington seeks to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine. The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it slapped sanctions on three United Arab Emirates-based companies and three vessels owned by them in the action, accusing the vessels of engaging in the export of Russian crude oil priced above the $60 a barrel cap. It said the vessels used U.S.-person services while transporting the Russian-origin crude oil.

 

Nov 17 - Chevron shipping fuels to Venezuela's PDVSA in expansion of oil swap

U.S. oil firm Chevron Corp has begun supplying fuel to Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA under Washington's approval of expanded deals with the South American country, three people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. Chevron and PDVSA previously had stuck to a 2022 agreement to expand some operations that included a swap of Venezuelan crude for Chevron-provided diluents to their joint ventures and for repayment of debts owned by Venezuela. Last month, Washington broadly eased sanctions on the country's oil sector, paving the way for wider sets of exchanges. 


Nov 16 - US crude stockpiles rise, fuel draws down last week - EIA

U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped last week, while gasoline inventories posted a surprise draw as refineries picked up runs amid seasonally strong demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. The EIA resumed publishing weekly data after a two week hiatus to complete a planned systems upgrade. 

 

Nov 16 - Venezuela's PDVSA offers Corocoro crude cargo through intermediary - sources

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA is offering to sell up to 1 million barrels of Corocoro crude through an intermediary, sources said on Wednesday, which could become the first sale of that grade in two years. Since Washington temporarily eased oil sanctions on the country last month, PDVSA has been allocating spot cargoes of crude and fuel oil through little known firms that contract with trading companies, which ultimately deliver to refiners. 


Nov 15 - China's Oct oil refinery runs slow from last month as margins narrow

China's oil refinery throughput in October eased from the previous month's highs amid weakening industrial fuel demand and narrowing refining margins. Total refinery throughput in the world's second-largest oil consumer was 63.93 million metric tons, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Wednesday.

 

Nov 15 - IEA raises oil demand growth forecasts, flags possible 2024 surplus

The International Energy Agency (IEA) on Tuesday raised its oil demand growth forecasts for this year and next despite slower economic growth in nearly all major economies, although its 2024 outlook remains much lower than that of producer group OPEC. The Paris-based IEA said the market could shift into surplus at the start of 2024 having been kept in a "significant deficit" through year-end by voluntary cuts from Saudi Arabia and Russia which last until the end of December.

 

Nov 14 - US buys 1.2 million barrels of oil for Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The U.S. plans to buy 1.2 million barrels of oil to help replenish the Strategic Petroleum Reserve after it sold off the largest amount ever last year, the Energy Department said on Monday. The department said the planned purchase for the oil is at an average price of $77.57 a barrel from two companies after 18 bids were submitted. 

 

Nov 14 - US probes 30 ship managers for suspected Russia oil sanctions violations

The U.S. Treasury Department has sent notices to ship management companies requesting information about 100 vessels it suspects of violating Western sanctions on Russian oil, according to a source who has seen the documents. The notices, sent by the Office of Foreign Assets Control to ship management companies in about 30 countries on Friday, represent the biggest step of its kind by the United States since Washington and its allies imposed a price cap aimed at restricting oil revenues to Moscow as punishment for its invasion of Ukraine, the source said.


Nov 13 - Iraq expects deal to resume Kurdistan oil output within three days

Iraqi oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani expects to reach an agreement with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) and foreign oil companies to resume oil production from the Kurdish region’s oilfields within three days, he said on Sunday. Abdel-Ghani said during a visit to Erbil, the capital of Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdistan, that Iraq has reached an "understanding" with Turkey in relation to resumption of northern oil exports through the Iraq-Turkey pipeline.

 

Nov 13 - Russian Urals crude prices fall back towards G7 price cap – traders

Urals crude oil prices at Russian ports have fallen back towards a price cap imposed by Group of Seven (G7) countries, weighed by rising freight rates and weaker Brent crude prices, traders said and Reuters calculations showed. Russia's main export grade has been trading above the $60 per barrel Western price cap since mid-July amid output cuts by OPEC+ producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Nov 10 - Big traders strike deals with middlemen to tap Venezuela's free-flowing oil
A broad easing of U.S. sanctions on Venezuela's oil industry has forged marriages of convenience between global commodities traders and little-known middlemen that dominated its exports during the period of restrictions. Washington in mid-October issued a general license lifting through April sanctions on the country's oil production and exports. 

Nov 10 - Russian fuel export ban to be lifted next week - industry sources
Russian fuel producers have been told by the government to prepare for the scrapping of all remaining restrictions on the export of diesel and gasoline, three industry sources told Reuters on Thursday. Russia, the world's top seaborne exporter of diesel, introduced a ban on fuel exports on Sept. 21 to tackle high domestic prices and shortages.

Nov 09 - Russian oil shaves India's import costs by about $2.7 bln
India saved roughly $2.7 billion by importing discounted Russian oil in the first nine months of this year, according to calculations based on government data, helping it support economic growth and easing pressure on its trade deficit. Crude oil accounts for about a third of India's overall imports by value.

Nov 09 - Nigeria launches new 'Nembe' grade as ramps up oil output
Nigeria's NNPC and Aiteo have launched a new grade of crude called Nembe through a joint venture, as Africa's largest oil producer ramps up its oil output. Crude theft, attacks on pipelines in the Niger Delta and a lack of investment have meant output declines for many years, causing a dwindling of Nigerian government revenue and large fiscal deficits. But output has picked up in recent months.

Nov 08 - OPEC+ expects global economy to weather challenges
OPEC expects the global economy to grow and drive fuel demand, despite macro challenges, including high inflation and interest rates, the producer group's secretary general said on Tuesday. The United States is doing well, while Europe is struggling, Haitham Al Ghais told the Argus European Crude Conference in London. Even China, which has emerged from lockdown more slowly than expected, forecasts growth at 4.5% to 5%, he said, outstripping Europe. 

Nov 08 - Global fossil fuel production plans far exceed climate targets, U.N. says
Global fossil fuel production in 2030 is set to be more than double the levels that are deemed consistent with meeting climate goals set under the 2015 Paris climate agreement, the United Nations and researchers said on Wednesday. The United Nations Environment Programme's (UNEP) report, assessing the gap in fossil fuel production cuts and what’s needed to meet climate goals comes ahead of the global COP 28 climate meeting which starts on Nov. 30 in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Nov 07 - China's Oct crude oil imports jump on last yr; fresh quotas, Golden Week demand help
China imported 13.52% more crude oil in October from a year earlier, data showed on Tuesday, as refiners stepped up purchases using fresh import quotas and as domestic fuel demand expanded during the Golden Week holiday. Crude oil arrivals last month into China totalled 48.97 million metric tons, or 11.53 million barrels per day (bpd), according to the General Administration of Customs, up marginally compared with 11.13 million bpd in September.  

Nov 07 - Venezuela taps oilfield firms to boost output after sanction easing
Venezuela's state-owned PDVSA is in talks with local and foreign oilfield firms to hire equipment and services that would allow it to revive depressed output, sources close to the meetings said, after the U.S. relaxed sanctions on the country. The U.S. Treasury Department in October authorized for six months the production and export of Venezuelan crude, gas and fuel, the procurement of goods and services, new investments and payments to PDVSA with few limitations on business partners.

Nov 06 - Saudi Arabia, Russia to continue additional voluntary oil cuts
Top oil exporters Saudi Arabia and Russia confirmed on Sunday they would continue with their additional voluntary oil output cuts until the end of the year as concerns over demand and economic growth continue to weigh on crude markets. Both countries said their cuts would be reviewed next month to consider extending, deepening or increasing it.  

Nov 06 - China refiners cut oil output as thin margins, quota shortage bite
China's oil refinery utilisation rates are easing from record third-quarter levels as thinning margins and a shortage of export quotas discourage plants from raising output for the rest of 2023, according to traders and industry consultancies. The drop in refining output could reduce crude demand from the world's top importer and cap global oil prices, pushing up China's crude inventories and dampening prices from top supplier Russia.

Nov 03 - PetroChina aims to resume Venezuelan oil imports after 4-year pause
China's PetroChina is proposing to buy up to 8 million barrels a month of Venezuelan crude from state-run oil company PDVSA, according to four people familiar with the matter, hoping to resume a trade suspended four years ago by U.S. sanctions. In October, the U.S. Treasury Department temporarily lifted the sanctions, paving the way for Venezuela to resume exporting crude, gas and fuel to its best customers.

Nov 03 - Belgium drafting new fuel quality law targeting exports to Africa
Belgium is set to shut the door on rising exports of low-quality gasoline and diesel to West Africa as it follows the Netherlands in tightening environmental rules, officials have told Reuters. The Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp (ARA) hub is the world's leading gasoline exporting region, LSEG data shows, and hosts some of Europe's largest oil refineries including plants operated by TotalEnergies and Exxon Mobil.

Nov 02 - U.S. crude, gasoline stocks rise as refiners ramp up slowly - EIA
U.S. crude stocks and gasoline inventories rose last week as refiners undergoing seasonal maintenance restarted units more slowly than expected to avoid even larger gasoline stock builds, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Refinery crude runs rose by only 62,000 barrels per day in the last week, the EIA said, and refinery utilization rates fell by 0.2 percentage point in the week. 

Nov 02 - U.S. oil output hits record as producers boost drilling efficiency: Kemp
U.S. oil and gas production has continued to rise as companies squeeze more from each well despite a fall in the number of rigs employed, with the industry boosting efficiency to offset the impact of lower prices. Crude and condensate production rose to a record 13.1 million barrels per day (b/d) in August, surpassing the previous peak of 13.0 million b/d set in November 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nov 01 - US crude output reaches monthly record in August at 13.05 million bpd -EIA
U.S. field production of crude oil rose to a new monthly record in August at 13.05 million barrels per day, the Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday. Output rose 0.7% in August from the month prior, the data showed. The previous monthly high was in November 2019, when production reached 13.0 million bpd. 

Nov 01 - OPEC oil output rises for third month, Reuters survey finds
OPEC oil output has risen for a third straight month in October, a Reuters survey found on Tuesday, led by increases in Nigeria and Angola and despite ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 27.90 million barrels per day (bpd), the survey found, up by 180,000 bpd from September. Production in August had risen for the first time since February.

Oct 31 - World Bank sees lower 2024 oil price, but Middle East war could cause spike
The World Bank said on Monday it expected global oil prices to average $90 a barrel in the fourth quarter and fall to an average of $81 in 2023 as slowing growth eases demand, but warned that an escalation of the latest Middle East conflict could spike prices significantly higher. The World Bank's latest Commodity Markets Outlook report noted that oil prices have risen only about 6% since the start of the Israel-Hamas war, while prices of agricultural commodities, most metals and other commodities "have barely budged."

Oct 31 - Crude oil sees new short sales as interest rates rise: Kemp
Portfolio investors resumed selling petroleum last week as fears about conflict in the Middle East disrupting production were replaced by concerns about rising interest rates and the impact on the global economy and oil consumption. Hedge funds and other money managers sold the equivalent of 14 million barrels in the six most important petroleum futures and options contracts over the seven days ending on Oct. 24.

Oct 30 - Chevron-Hess deal may lift Bakken oil output, but no return to boom days
Chevron's deal announced last week to buy Hess, one of the largest operators in the Bakken shale play in North Dakota, could raise oil output there marginally but analysts do not expect a return to its peak pre-pandemic boom days. New drilling technologies during the so-called Bakken Boom turned North Dakota into the nation's second-largest crude oil-producing state from 2012 to 2020. That No. 2 spot was taken over by New Mexico after the COVID-19 pandemic crushed oil demand and drilling activity.  

Oct 30 - UK regulator awards 27 oil, gas exploration licenses
Britain's oil and gas regulator, the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA), on Monday awarded 27 new hydrocarbon exploration licenses, even as climate activists criticise the government for allowing fresh drilling. The licensing round, the first of its kind since 2019, was launched around a year ago and received 115 applications from 76 companies. Some North Sea producers shunned the round after Britain introduced a windfall tax on the sector.

Oct 27 - OPEC+ members send less oil to U.S., adding to tight supply outlook
U.S. waterborne imports of crude from OPEC+ members including Saudi Arabia have dropped steadily over the last year, further tightening supplies in the U.S. while supporting other markets including Europe, according to flows data and analysts. Going forward, the level of U.S. crude imports from OPEC and other exporters and U.S. shipments to Europe will probably have a more direct impact on global oil prices thanks to a change made earlier this year to the Brent crude benchmark. 

Oct 27 - Equinor cuts output guidance as Q3 profit beats forecast
Equinor cut its full-year oil and gas output guidance while posting a bigger-than-expected profit for the third quarter and maintaining its dividend and share buyback levels. The Norwegian energy group's adjusted earnings before interest and tax for July-September fell to $8.02 billion from a revised $24.5 billion a year earlier, beating the $7.59 billion predicted in a poll of 22 analysts compiled by Equinor.

Oct 26 - Shell cuts low-carbon jobs, scales back hydrogen in overhaul by CEO
Shell will cut at least 15% of the workforce at its low-carbon solutions division and scale back its hydrogen business as part of CEO Wael Sawan's drive to boost profits, it said on Wednesday. The staff cuts and organizational changes come after Sawan, who took the helm in January, vowed to revamp Shell's strategy to focus on higher-margin projects, steady oil output and grow natural gas production.

Oct 26 - US crude, gasoline stockpiles rise as refiners run less oil -EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles jumped last week as refinery utilization dropped, while gasoline inventories posted a surprise build, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Crude inventories rose by 1.4 million barrels in the week to Oct. 20 to 421.1 million barrels, much more than analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 240,000-barrel build.

Oct 25 - Oil traders race to negotiate deals after US eases Venezuela sanctions
Global energy traders are emerging as early buyers of Venezuela's stocks of crude and fuel oil following last week's easing of U.S. energy sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter. U.S. sanctions that were in place on Venezuela since 2019 largely blocked state-run oil company PDVSA from exporting to its chosen markets. 

Oct 25 - China affirms 1 bln ton cap on crude oil refining capacity for 2025
China will cap its crude oil refining capacity at 1 billion metric tons by 2025 to streamline its vast oil processing sector and cap carbon emissions, the country's state planning agency affirmed in an online posting. China, the world's top crude oil buyer, increased its oil refining capacity to 920 million tonnes per year, or 18.4 million barrels per day (bpd), in 2022, overtaking the United States as the world's largest oil processor.

Oct 24 - Chevron to buy Hess for $53 billion in latest oil mega-merger
Chevron has agreed to buy Hess for $53 billion in stock to gain a bigger U.S. oil footprint and a stake in rival Exxon Mobil's massive Guyana discoveries, the latest in a series of blockbuster U.S. oil combinations. The Chevron deal announced on Monday and a $60 billion acquisition by Exxon earlier this month will add years of oil and gas production to the two top U.S. producers' portfolios, much of it from U.S. shale.

Oct 24 - World oil, gas, coal demand to peak by 2030, IEA says
World fossil fuel demand is set to peak by 2030 as more electric cars hit the road and China's economy grows more slowly and shifts towards cleaner energy, the International Energy Agency said, undercutting the rationale for any rise in investment. The report from the IEA, which advises industrialised countries, contrasts with the view of oil producer group the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which sees oil demand rising long after 2030 and calls for trillions in new oil sector investment.

Oct 23 - A tale of setbacks as Venezuela's Citgo heads to US auction
For the past four years, the United States protected oil refiner Citgo Petroleum from creditors seeking to seize Venezuela's foreign crown jewel for billions of dollars in claims. But on Monday, a U.S. judge will kick off an auction expected to place the Houston-based company in the hands of rivals or investors. The auction could start a new chapter for the 113-year-old company, which has been owned by Venezuela for almost 40 years. 

Oct 23 - China's teapot refiners battle rising costs of imports from Russia, Venezuela
Rising costs of crude oil are squeezing profits at China's independent refineries amid stiff competition for limited Russian supply, while the price of Venezuelan crude gains ground after the U.S. freed up sanctions on its industry. The refineries, known as teapots, account for about a fifth of shipments into the world's top crude importer.

Oct 20 - Venezuela starts to pursue former oil clients after US lifts sanctions
Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA has begun contacting customers with crude supply contracts amid the temporary lifting of U.S. sanctions, two people familiar to the matter said on Thursday, moving to resume cash sales to global refiners. The U.S. on Wednesday lifted most restrictions on Venezuela for six months for producing, selling and exporting oil to its chosen markets.

Oct 20 - US seeks to buy 6 million barrels for oil reserve by January
President Joe Biden's administration hopes to buy 6 million barrels of crude oil for delivery to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in December and January, as it continues its plan to replenish the emergency stockpile, the U.S. Department of Energy said on Thursday. The department hopes to sign purchase contracts for the oil at $79 a barrel or less.

Oct 19 - OPEC plans no immediate action after Iran urges Israel oil embargo, sources say
OPEC is not planning to hold an extraordinary meeting or take any immediate action after Iran's foreign minister called on members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel, four sources from the producer group told Reuters. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian on Wednesday called on OIC members to impose an oil embargo and other sanctions on Israel and expel all Israeli ambassadors.

Oct 19 - US broadly eases Venezuela oil sanctions after election deal
The Biden administration on Wednesday broadly eased sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector in response to a deal reached between the government and opposition parties for the 2024 election - the most extensive rollback of Trump-era restrictions on Caracas. A new general license issued by the U.S. Treasury Department authorized OPEC member Venezuela, which had been under crushing sanctions since 2019, to produce and export oil to its chosen markets for the next six months without limitation.

Oct 18 - China's September oil refinery throughput surges to record daily rate
China's oil refinery throughput in September hit a record daily rate, data showed on Wednesday, up 12% from a year earlier as refiners increased run rates to cater for strong demand for transport fuel over the Golden Week holiday and improving manufacturing. Total refinery throughput in the world's second-largest oil consumer was 63.62 million metric tons last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Oct 18 - Russian oil freight rates jump as US boosts scrutiny of price cap compliance
Oil freight rates from Russia's Baltic ports to India are up some 50% since last week as more shipowners quit the market after the first U.S. sanctions on shipowners carrying Russian crude priced above a G7 cap, three sources said on Tuesday. The Group of Seven (G7) countries-imposed sanctions in December last year prohibiting shippers or insurers domiciled in member countries from offering services to facilitate Russian oil exports when the price is above $60 a barrel.

Oct 17 - Restart of Venezuela, opposition talks could lead to US sanction relief
Venezuela's government and opposition will resume long-suspended talks on Tuesday that President Nicolas Maduro said would benefit the upcoming 2024 election, a move that could lead to Washington easing sanctions, multiple sources said on Monday. The U.S. has long said it would lift some of its sanctions in exchange for democratic concessions from Maduro, but the announcement on Monday offered the first concrete schedule in nearly a year for talks between the government and opposition.

Oct 17 - Saudi Arabia's crude exports drop to 28-month low in August
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in August hit their lowest level in 28 months as they fell for a fifth straight month, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday. Crude exports from the world's largest oil exporter fell to 5.58 million barrels per day (bpd), down 7.1% from 6.01 million bpd in July and the lowest since April 2021.

Oct 17 - What Israel-Hamas war means for global oil market (Reuters)

- A war between Islamist group Hamas and Israel poses one of the most significant geopolitical risks to oil markets since Russia's invasion of Ukraine last year. While oil flows have not yet been affected, analysts and market observers point to two major implications if the conflict escalates.
- First, the U.S. could tighten or step up enforcement of sanctions on Iran should it be implicated in Hamas' attack on Israel, which could further strain an already undersupplied oil market.
- Second, a deal being brokered by Washington to normalise relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, which could see the kingdom increase oil output, could be derailed.

HOW HAS THE OIL MARKET REACTED SO FAR
?
Brent crude jumped by about $3.50 to touch $89 a barrel on Monday, the first trading day after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

It subsequently reversed most of those gains before rising to above $88 a barrel on Friday as the United States imposed sanctions on shippers carrying Russian oil in contravention of a G-7 imposed price cap.

Analysts and industry insiders, who had expected a stronger rally, acknowledged that the situation differed from the 1973 oil crisis when Saudi Arabia spearheaded an embargo targeted at nations that had supported Israel during the Yom Kippur War, causing prices to skyrocket.

Saudi Arabia and Russia have already announced voluntary supply cuts until the end of 2023, pushing oil prices to 10-month highs in late September before macroeconomic concerns pulled them dramatically lower again last week.

The International Energy Agency said on Thursday the conflict had not had a direct impact on oil supplies, while David Goldwyn, a former special envoy for international energy affairs at the U.S. State Department, said fundamentals would remain a bigger driver of prices.

Rob Thummel, senior portfolio manger at Tortoise Capital, said oil prices would be unlikely to rise substantially unless there is disruption in the Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil artery carrying a fifth of global supply, caused by Iran or any other country.

WHAT DOES THE CONFLICT MEAN FOR IRANIAN EXPORTS?
Despite U.S. sanctions, Iranian crude exports have grown significantly this year, offsetting some of Riyadh and Moscow's 1.3 million barrel per day (bpd) voluntary cut.

Hamas backer Iran has denied any involvement in the group's attack on Israel. U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Wednesday said she had nothing to announce yet on whether the United States would impose new sanctions on Iran if evidence emerged that the country was involved in the attack.
"This is something that we have been constantly looking at, and using information that becomes available to tighten sanctions," she said.

Oil pump jack is seen in front of displayed Israeli flag in this illustration taken, October 8, 2023. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo Acquire Licensing Rights. Tighter U.S. sanctions on Tehran would threaten crude supplies and push up energy prices both globally and domestically, something President Biden will be keen to avoid ahead of a 2024 election.

But RBC Capital Markets analyst Helima Croft said it would "likely be difficult" for the Biden administration to continue with its "permissive sanctions regime" that has allowed Iran's oil production to approach pre-2018 levels. Other analysts don't expect the U.S. to risk supply disruptions, however.
"Given that policy objectives did not target Russian oil flows even at the height of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, we do not expect Iranian oil exports to be constrained either," Macquarie analysts said.

FGE analysts said that the U.S. was unlikely to tighten sanctions without Saudi Arabia agreeing to replace lost Iranian barrels, which they added that they did not see happening.

WHAT BECOMES OF THE SAUDI-ISRAELI DEAL?
The U.S. is attempting to broker a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Israel, in which the kingdom would normalise ties with Israel in return for a defence deal with Washington.

Saudi Arabia told the White House it is willing to boost oil production early next year to help secure the deal, the Wall Street Journal reported last week.

Washington has said the efforts should continue but Ben Cahill of U.S.-based think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies said the talks could now be suspended, closing off an important avenue of U.S.-Saudi cooperation.

HOW HAS OPEC+ REACTED?
Saudi Arabia's energy minister Prince Abdulaziz told CNBC "the cohesion of OPEC+ should not be challenged".
"We've been through the worst, I don't think we will have to go through any terrible situation at all," he said.

Iraq's oil ministry spokesman on Oct. 12 said that OPEC+, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, does not make knee-jerk reactions to market challenges.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak added on Thursday that current oil prices factored in the conflict and reflected the market's belief that risks posed by the clashes were not that high.

Russia and Saudi Arabia met in Moscow on Wednesday, when Russian president Vladimir Putin said OPEC+ coordination will continue "for the predictability of the oil market".

Oct 16 - Diesel release valve: China poised to save West from shortages again
As the northern hemisphere heads into winter, the U.S. and European oil sectors are counting on rising exports from Chinese refineries to ease tight global supplies of diesel, heating oil and jet fuel. China is the world's top oil importer and largest energy consumer. Typically, energy has flowed into China, not out of it. Growing Chinese refining capacity has, however, made the country an important fuel exporter in recent years.

Oct 16 - Russia's Sept seaborne oil product exports down vs Aug -sources, Reuters calculations
Russia's seaborne oil product exports fell 2.5% in September from August to 9.456 million metric tons due to seasonal maintenance of refineries and a fuel export ban late in the month, data from industry sources and Reuters calculations showed. Russia temporarily banned exports of gasoline and ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) from Sept. 21 to stabilise the domestic market.

Oct 13 - China Sept crude imports rise from a year ago as travel, manufacturing recover
China's crude oil imports in September grew nearly 14% from a year earlier, as refiners stepped up purchases ahead of the Golden Week travel period and manufacturing indicators improved.Shipments last month to the world's biggest oil importer were 45.74 million metric tons, or 11.13 million barrels per day, data from the General Administration of Customs showed. 

Oct 13 - US imposes first sanctions under Russian price cap on tanker owners
The U.S. on Thursday imposed the first sanctions on owners of tankers carrying Russian oil priced above the G7's price cap of $60 a barrel, one in Turkey and one in the United Arab Emirates, in an effort to close loopholes in the mechanism designed to punish Moscow for its war in Ukraine. The U.S., other G7 countries and Australia imposed the cap last year, seeking to reduce Russia's revenues from seaborne oil exports as part of sanctions for its invasion of Ukraine.

Oct 12 - Global oil stockpiles due to fall in second half 2023 - EIA
Global oil inventories are expected to fall by 200,000 bpd in the second half of 2023 due to voluntary output cuts from Saudi Arabia and reduced production among OPEC+ countries, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. The lower inventories, which are forecast to keep global oil supply below consumption, are likely to boost oil prices, the EIA said in a monthly report. It now sees spot Brent crude at $94.91 a barrel in 2024, up from a previous forecast of $88.22. 

Oct 12 - Russia's Putin signals OPEC+ cuts are here to stay
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that OPEC+ coordination would continue in order to ensure predictability on the oil market and signalled strongly that a deal to constrain supply to world markets was here to stay. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, pumps around 40% of the world's crude. It currently has an agreement to limit supplies until the end of 2024.

Oct 11 - Exxon set to buy shale rival Pioneer for $60 billion in stock
Exxon Mobil is expected to say on Wednesday it will buy U.S. rival Pioneer Natural Resources for about $60 billion, a deal that puts it atop the largest U.S. oilfield and secures a decade of low-cost production, according to people familiar with the matter. Exxon, which was valued at $442 billion on Tuesday, is expected to make a pure stock offer valued at more than $250 a share for Pioneer, the people said on condition of anonymity because the details were not public.  

Oct 11 - China saves billions of dollars from record sanctioned oil imports
China has reaped savings this year of nearly $10 billion through record purchases of oil from countries under Western sanctions, according to Reuters' calculations based on data from traders and shiptrackers. An unintended consequence of sanctions imposed by the United States and others on Russia, Iran and Venezuela has been to lower the oil import costs for refiners in top economic rival China, which often criticises such "unilateral" penalties.

Oct 10 - Exxon-Pioneer tie up could squeeze US shale oil suppliers, pipelines
Top U.S. oil producer Exxon Mobil's planned acquisition of the No. 1 Permian shale producer Pioneer Natural Resources could further restrain output growth in the largest U.S. oilfield, squeezing pipeline companies and suppliers, executives and energy advisors said. Consolidation, steep cost inflation and investor demands for returns have shrunk production growth this year in the Permian shale formation in West Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Oct 10 - Saudi Aramco to supply full oil volumes to N.Asia refiners in Nov
Saudi Aramco has notified at least four North Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude oil in November, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as the Kingdom maintained its output policy. The world's top oil exporter reaffirmed last week that it will stick with oil supply reduction of 1 million barrels a day to the end of 2023.

Oct 09 - Saudi Arabia, other Arab states reaffirm commitment to voluntary oil production adjustments
Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates reaffirmed their commitment to "collective and individual voluntary adjustments" to oil production, the Saudi state news agency said on Sunday. The oil ministers of the six countries met on the sidelines of the U.N. MENA climate week event in Riyadh on Sunday. 

Oct 09 - China's 4th batch of 2023 crude oil import quota at 9.54 mln tons
China has issued a fourth batch of 2023 crude oil import quotas, raising the volume for the year to 203.64 million metric tons, three refinery sources with direct knowledge of the issue said on Saturday. That is up 14% from last year's 179 million tons.

Oct 06 - Russia lifts ban on most diesel exports
Russia's government said on Friday it had lifted a ban on pipeline diesel exports via ports, removing the bulk of restrictions installed on Sept. 21. The restrictions for gasoline exports are still in place. Diesel is Russia's biggest oil product export, at about 35 million tonnes last year, of which almost three-quarters were shipped via pipelines. Russia also exported 4.8 million tonnes of gasoline in 2022. 

Oct 06 - Exxon Mobil in advanced talks for $60 bln acquisition of Pioneer
Exxon Mobil is in advanced talks to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources in a deal that could value the Permian shale basin producer at about $60 billion, people familiar with the matter said on Thursday. The acquisition would be Exxon's biggest since its $81 billion deal for Mobil in 1998 and would expand its footprint in one of the most lucrative regions of the U.S. oil patch.

Oct 05 - US crude stockpiles fall on higher exports, gasoline builds - EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles last week fell to their lowest this year on strong export demand, while gasoline inventories rose much more than expected on weak demand, according to the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell by 2.2 million barrels in the week to Sept. 29 to 414.1 million barrels, their lowest since December 2022. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a 400,000-barrel drop. 

Oct 05 - Exxon 3Q profits to climb from last quarter on higher prices
Exxon Mobil said on Wednesday big increases in oil, gas and fuel prices would deliver a third-quarter operating profit between $8.3 billion and $11.4 billion, below the year ago's record earnings but up from its second quarter. Exxon's snapshot of operating profits, delivered in a securities filing after the market close, signals a good quarter for oil companies on high oil prices and strong demand for gasoline and diesel.

Oct 04 - India buys less September-loading Urals, Turkey more -sources, LSEG
India's share of Russian Urals oil shipments in September declined from August amid refinery maintenance, while Turkey increased purchases due to a shortage of sour barrels in the Mediterranean, according to traders, LSEG data and Reuters calculations. Urals, KEBCO and Siberian Light grade loadings from the ports of Primorsk, Ust-Luga and Novorossiysk in September rose to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.8 million bpd in August.  

Oct 04 - Talks to restart Iraq oil exports via Turkish pipeline ongoing - Iraq source
Talks to restart Iraqi oil exports via a crude oil pipeline that runs through Turkey are still ongoing, an Iraqi oil official told Reuters, one day after Turkey said operations would start again this week following a near six-month stoppage. "We have further meetings soon and things will be more clear on how serious is Turkey to show some flexibility," the official told Reuters on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic.

Oct 03 - OPEC oil output rises for second month on Nigeria, Iran - Reuters survey
OPEC oil output rose for a second straight month in September, a Reuters survey found on Monday, led by increases in Nigeria and Iran despite ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market. Last month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pumped 27.73 million barrels per day (bpd), the survey found, up 120,000 bpd from August. Production in August had risen for the first time since February.  

Oct 03 - Venezuela's September oil exports hit second highest this year
Venezuela's oil exports in September topped 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), the second highest monthly average this year, as state-run oil firm PDVSA and its joint ventures recovered output, particularly in the Orinoco Belt. Venezuela has been increasing overall crude production and exports this year, but with volatile swings from month to month amid recurring power outages, maintenance problems and a lack of investment to expand output.

Oct 02 - Oil forecasts revised higher as Saudi, Russian supply cuts drive gains
Saudi and Russian supply cuts are expected to keep feeding into stronger oil prices, but any runs towards the $100 a barrel level are likely to be short-lived as economic risks linger, a Reuters poll showed on Friday. A survey of 42 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude, currently holding just above $95 a barrel, would average $84.09 a barrel in 2023, up from August's $82.45 consensus.

Oct 02 - Asia's crude oil imports slip in Sept as price hike bites: Russell
Asia's crude oil imports slipped for a second consecutive month in September as refinery maintenance trimmed demand and the impact of higher prices started to weigh. The world's top importing region saw arrivals of 24.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, down from August's 25.22 million bpd, according to data compiled by LSEG.

Sep 29 - Biden's 5-year offshore oil plan to have historically few lease sales, none in 2024
The Biden administration's five-year plan for offshore oil and gas leasing will not include any sales in 2024 and will feature just three in the final four years, the lowest number of auctions in the history of the program, according to three sources familiar with the matter. In recent years, politicians, environmentalists and the oil industry have cast the national leasing program as a symbol of either the need to rein in fossil fuel development to avert the worst impacts of climate change or as a critical tool to shore up domestic energy supplies and keep pump prices low. 

Sep 29 - Singapore fuel exports to Mexico hit record in Q3 on limited US supply
Record volumes of refined products were shipped from Singapore to Mexico in the third quarter on lower U.S. exports to the Latin American country caused by peak summer demand and slow shipping through the Panama Canal, industry sources and analysts say. The trend could continue into the fourth quarter, especially for gasoline, drawing down Singapore stockpiles and providing a floor for Asian refiners' margins, the sources added.

Sep 28 - Rising oil prices boost US drilling, producer costs rise - Dallas Fed
Oil and gas activity in three key energy producing U.S. states has been rising with the latest jump in energy prices, according to a survey released on Wednesday, signaling a turn in producers' sentiment even as their costs have risen too. The survey showed new optimism in the oil patch after a series of dour quarterly reports and rising costs for oilfield services.

Sep 28 - Shell CEO comes under pressure from within on renewables shift
Shell CEO Wael Sawan has come under pressure over his strategy from within the energy company after two employees issued a rare open letter urging him not to scale back investments in renewable energy, sparking an internal debate. The open letter, posted earlier this month on Shell's internal web and seen by Reuters this week, comes after Sawan outlined at an investor day in June plans to slow investment in renewables and low-carbon business as part of a strategy to boost returns.

Sep 27 - Cushing oil hub's low levels spur quality, operational, price worries
U.S. crude stockpiles at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub are at their lowest in 14 months due to strong refining and export demand, prompting concerns about the quality of the remaining oil and the potential to fall below minimum operating levels, traders and analysts said. Further drawdowns at Cushing, the delivery point for U.S. crude futures, could also provide new upward pressure on oil markets as it would compound supply tightness stemming from OPEC+ supply cuts.  

Sep 27 - China may boost Oct fuel exports on robust margins, flight recovery
China's oil products exports are set to rise in October as state-owned refiners capitalise on lucrative margins and some western demand, while international flights recover, industry sources and analysts said. The world's second-largest oil refiner is importing lower-priced sanctioned oil from Russia, Iran and Venezuela and maximising output to ramp up exports that have helped ease tight gasoline and diesel supplies globally and capped prices.

Sep 26 - Russia lifts export ban on low-quality diesel, marine fuel
Russia has made some changes to its fuel export ban including lifting restrictions on fuel used as bunkering for some vessels and on diesel with high sulphur content, a government document showed just days after Moscow first announced the restrictions. Russia also lifted restrictions on the export of fuel already accepted for export by the Russian Railways and Transneft before the initial ban had been announced last week.

Sep 26 - Chevron readies new oil drilling push in Venezuela to boost output
Chevron Corp plans to add 65,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Venezuelan oil output by the end of 2024 through its first major drilling campaign in the nation since Washington allowed it to restore production clipped by U.S. sanctions, three people familiar with the matter said. The effort could help Venezuela keep lifting crude production and speed Chevron's goal of recouping $3 billion in unpaid dividends and debt from its projects in the country.

Sep 25 - Russia's gasoline prices on exchange down almost 10% after export ban (Reuters)

- Russian wholesale gasoline Ai-92 grade prices fell by 9.7% to 55,892 roubles ($582) per metric ton on Friday, according to exchange data, following a government ban on fuel exports. Diesel prices were down 7.5% to 66,511 roubles per ton, according to the data from the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX). Wholesale fuel prices in Russia had been steadily rising this year amid fuel shortages, reaching all-time highs.

- In response, Russia on Thursday temporarily banned exports of gasoline and diesel to all countries apart from four ex-Soviet states. Russia has exported about 1 million barrels of diesel/gasoil and 130,000 barrels of gasoline per day so far this year, according to J.P.Morgan. Russian oil pipeline company Transneft stopped export shipments of diesel fuel from the Baltic Sea port of Primorsk and from Novorossiysk on the Black Sea, the TASS news agency cited the company as saying. A Kremlin spokesman told reporters that the export ban would last for as long as necessary to ensure market stability.
"It was necessary to regulate this market against the background of harvesting work, agricultural processes... the ordinary consumer, not only the wholesale, but also the retail market," said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
"How long they will be in place? As long as it takes to ensure stability in the market."

- First Deputy Energy Minister Pavel Sorokin had said on Thursday that the ban was indefinite, and further government action would depend on the fuel "saturation" of the market. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak held a meeting with Russian oil company managers on Friday to discuss the domestic fuel market, the government said. The absence of fuel shortages was noted at the meeting.

- Exchange prices for gasoline Ai-92 grade in the European part of Russia have fallen by more than 20% since Sept. 18 and prices for AI-95 by 22%, the government said. As of Sept. 20, Russian gasoline stockpiles stood at 1.9 million tonnes, while diesel stockpiles amounted at 2.95 million tonnes. Novak would be holding meetings with bosses of Russian oil companies on a weekly basis, Ifax news agency reported, citing his office.

- Analysts expect the restrictions to be short-lived.
"We believe the ban indeed will be temporary and last only a couple of weeks, until the harvest concludes in October," J.P. Morgan said in a note to clients. Citi analysts said they expected the Russian ban to last around six weeks. ($1 = 96.0000 roubles)

Sep 25 - Russia's gasoline prices on exchange down almost 10% after export ban
Russian wholesale gasoline Ai-92 grade prices fell by 9.7% to 55,892 roubles ($582) per metric ton on Friday, according to exchange data, following a government ban on fuel exports. Diesel prices were down 7.5% to 66,511 roubles per ton, according to the data from the St. Petersburg International Mercantile Exchange (SPIMEX). 

Sep 25 - Nigeria targets oil output of 2.1 mln bpd by December 2024
Nigeria expects to lift oil production to 2.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by the end of next year after oil companies operating in the country committed investments of $13.5 billion in the short term, the presidency said on Saturday. Nigeria is Africa's largest oil producer but its output has been in decline due to massive crude theft, attacks on pipelines in the Niger Delta region and lack of investment, causing a dwindling of government revenues and large fiscal deficits.

Sep 22 - Rise in refinery outages, tighter supplies pushing up US fuel prices
U.S. oil refiners that cranked up processing this year amid soaring demand for gasoline and diesel are being hit by outages weighing on their ability to rebuild thin fuel stockpiles and helping drive up fuel prices. A more than 50% jump in mechanical outages in the first nine months this year combined with higher planned maintenance after a long run of operating near full-bore has led to tightening fuel supplies and rising prices.  

Sep 22 - Russia temporarily bans fuel exports to most countries in response to shortages
Russia has temporarily banned exports of gasoline and diesel to all countries outside a circle of four ex-Soviet states with immediate effect in order to stabilise the domestic market, the government said on Thursday. It said the ban did not apply to fuel supplied under inter-governmental agreements to members of the Moscow-led Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Sep 21 - Russian oil producers send CPC Blend to UAE, open new export route (Reuters)

- Russian oil producers supplied their first cargoes of CPC Blend crude to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in August and September, traders told Reuters, opening up a new export route as Moscow looks to find new customers and skirt Western sanctions.

- Moscow has found new markets for its oil despite sanctions imposed by G7 countries since the start of the war in Ukraine, which Moscow calls a special military operation. The world's third largest oil exporter, Russia has rerouted most of its oil to China, India and Turkey over the past year, and has also sent cargoes to countries including Brazil, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. In August and September two Russian firms - oil major Lukoil and independent producer CenGeo - sold their oil to the UAE. Both supplied CPC Blend, a grade that is being mostly produced in Kazakhstan and supplied to global markets through Russia's Black Sea port of Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka.

- However, some crude from Russia is also being added to the CPC pipeline in Russia. The tanker Pola loaded a cargo supplied by CenGeo and marketed by Dubai-based Paramount Energy Trading from Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka on Aug. 14-15, the traders said. This was offloaded at ADNOC's Ruwais refinery terminal on Sept. 14, LSEG data shows.

- Early in August, Lukoil's trading arm Litasco supplied 123,000 tonnes of CPC Blend oil on Delta Hellas tanker also to Ruwais terminal, LSEG data shows. ADNOC declined to comment on the purchase. CenGeo, Paramount Energy and Lukoil did not reply to Reuters requests for comment.

- UAE, which is itself a large producer and supplies Murban oil to international markets, sometimes imports different grades for its refineries to optimize price differences, traders said. The UAE has not imposed sanctions against Russia and is not part of the Western moves over the Ukraine war. CPC Blend oil delivered to UAE's ports in September would be cheaper than the UAE's Murban oil, traders said.

- The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said earlier that CPC Blend oil was not subject to sanction limitations if it was of Kazakh origin and suggested that buyers of the blend seek certificates of origin. The U.S. warning on CPC Blend only applies to buyers which are observing sanctions.

- The two traders, who declined to be named, said that the CPC crude from Russia was sold at discount to Kazakh cargoes.

Sep 21 - Oil prices ease 1% after US Fed warns of higher rates for longer (Reuters)

- Fed leaves rates unchanged, sees tighter policy through 2024
- US weekly crude inventories fall in line with expectations -EIA
- US gasoline futures at their lowest in two weeks

- Oil prices fell about 1% to a one-week low on Wednesday after the U.S. Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged as widely expected, but stiffened its hawkish stance with a further rate increase projected by the end of the year. Brent futures for November delivery fell 81 cents, or 0.9%, to settle at $93.53 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) for October delivery fell 92 cents, or 1.0%, to settle at $90.28. That was the lowest close for Brent since Sept. 13.

- The WTI contract for October expires on Wednesday. WTI crude futures for November , which will be the next front-month, was down about 82 cents to $89.66. Despite the price decline, Brent remained in technically overbought territory for a 14th straight day, which would be the longest streak since 2012.

- Fed policymakers still see the central bank's benchmark overnight interest rate peaking this year in the 5.50%-5.75% range, just a quarter of a percentage point above the current range. Interest rate hikes to tame inflation can slow economic growth and reduce oil demand.
"A combo of further interest rate hikes, dollar strength and additional oil price increases will be upping the possibility of a recession," analysts at energy advisory Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.

- Energy markets, meanwhile, had little reaction to U.S. energy data showing crude inventories fell in line with expectations last week. That crude stock draw was driven by strong oil exports, while gasoline and diesel inventories drew down as refiners began annual autumn maintenance, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a weekly report.

- Crude inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels last week, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.2 million-barrel drop.

- U.S. gasoline futures slid to their lowest in two weeks, cutting the gasoline crack spread , a measure of refining profit margins, to its lowest since December 2022.

- In Britain, data showed a surprise drop in inflation in August, as the consumer price index fell by 0.1 percentage point to 6.7%, its lowest since February 2022. Goldman Sachs said it expects the Bank of England to keep interest rates unchanged on Thursday as a result of the fall.

- In Japan, exports fell in August for a second straight month, weighed by declines in China's demand for steel and heavy oil and stoking fears of a downturn in the face of elevated global interest rates.

Sep 21 - Bolivia’s Arce open to EU lithium tie-ups to rev battery metal output
Bolivia is open to tie-ups with European and other global companies for lithium exploration and extraction provided they adhere to the country’s conditions, president Luis Arce said on Wednesday.  "We are open to any company that wants to come to Bolivia, but the conditions are clear," Arce told Reuters in an interview, adding that his country wants to participate in the entire production chain.

Sep 21 - High tin stocks r
eflect weak consumer electronics sector:
Andy Home
London Metal Exchange (LME) stocks of tin have grown steadily over the summer months and have reached levels last seen in April 2020. The rebuild began in June in reaction to a short squeeze across LME time-spreads but has continued even after the cash premium flipped to a record discount in August.

Sep 20 - Recent surge in WTI price curbs US oil flows to Europe, Asia
A recent surge in West Texas Intermediate crude prices (WTI) that pulled Brent crude futures higher has shut arbitrage routes for U.S crude to Europe and Asia and is preventing oil from the Atlantic Basin from heading east, traders said. The WTI price surge, driven by OPEC+ supply cuts led by Saudi Arabia and falling U.S. shale oil production, is altering global trade flows by keeping U.S. oil in the country and driving up demand and prices for other oil imported by Europe and Asia.

Sep 20 - Canada's Trans Mountain pipe expansion to disrupt oil flow to US, boost prices
Canada's Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion (TMX), which will nearly triple the flow of crude from Alberta to Canada's Pacific Coast beginning early next year, will shake up North America's supply by diverting barrels now mainly delivered to refiners and exporters in the U.S. Midwest and Gulf Coast. Its startup could add as much as $2 per barrel to prices paid by U.S. Midwest oil refineries that sit along Canada's existing main oil-export route.

Sep 19 - US oil output from top shale areas to fall for 3rd straight month in October, EIA says
U.S. oil output from top shale-producing regions is on track to fall for a third month in a row in October to the lowest level since May 2023, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its monthly drilling productivity report on Monday. U.S. oil output is expected to fall to 9.393 million barrels per day (bpd) in October from 9.433 million bpd in September, EIA data showed. A record 9.476 million bpd was hit in July.

Sep 19 - Saudi Arabia's crude exports drop to two-year low in July

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports in July fell to their lowest for more than two years, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Monday. Crude exports from the world's largest oil exporter fell to 6.01 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, down about 11.6% from the previous month's 6.8 million bpd and the lowest since June 2021.

Sep 18 - China's diesel exports surge in August, have nearly tripled so far in 2023
China's diesel exports in August surged from a year earlier and have nearly tripled so far in 2023 compared to the same time a year ago, data showed on Monday, as refiners take advantage of strong regional refining margins to ship fuel overseas. Exports of diesel, the biggest fuel by share of refinery output, last month totalled 1.26 million metric tons, up 51.5% from last year's 830,000 tons, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Sep 18 - Russia's ESPO Blend crude price flips to premium in Chinese ports
Рrices for Russia's Far East ESPO Blend crude oil loading from the port of Kozmino in October have firmed to a premium of more than 50 cents against ICE Brent on a delivery basis in Chinese ports, several traders familiar with the matter said. This means the price has climbed back to levels seen prior to sanctions and a price cap on Russian oil, they added.

Sep 15 - US crude prices above $90/bbl ignite inflation worries
Crude oil prices above $90 a barrel in the United States stirred worries that inflation could rise further in an economy where the Federal Reserve has already hiked interest rates steeply to control rising prices. Higher oil prices are a burden on global economies, raising costs for transportation and manufacturing while pressuring consumer spending. President Joe Biden's administration last week polled oil refiners about operating plans, a sign of concern about gasoline prices and fuel supplies.  

Sep 15 - China oil refinery output rises to record on firmer demand, export margins
China's oil refinery throughput in August rose to a record, data showed, as processors in the world's second-largest crude consumer kept run rates high to meet summer travel demand and capitalise on strengthening export margins. Total refinery throughput was a record 64.69 million metric tons last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed, up 19.6% from a year ago, the fastest annual growth since March 2021. 

Sep 14 - US contacts oil producers, refiners as gasoline prices riseThe U.S. Energy Department has talked to oil producers and refiners to ensure stable fuel supplies at a time of rising gasoline prices, Jared Bernstein, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said on Wednesday. Rising gasoline prices were largely behind the largest increase in U.S. consumer prices in 14 months in August.

Sep 14 - BP begins search for new CEO with no clear front-runner
BP CEO Bernard Looney's abrupt resignation has thrown the British oil major into a leadership crisis with no groomed front-runner to succeed him, company and industry sources said on Wednesday. Several current and former BP insiders were seen as potential candidates to succeed Looney, who resigned as CEO on Tuesday after failing to fully disclose past personal relationships with employees, according to the sources.

Sep 13 - OPEC sticks to oil demand growth view citing resilient economy
OPEC on Tuesday stuck to its forecasts for robust growth in global oil demand in 2023 and 2024 citing signs that major economies are faring better than expected despite headwinds such as high interest rates and elevated inflation. World oil demand will rise by 2.25 million barrels per day in 2024, compared with growth of 2.44 million bpd in 2023, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said in a monthly report. Both forecasts were unchanged from last month.

Sep 13 - BP CEO Looney resigns over personal relationships with colleagues
BP CEO Bernard Looney resigned on Tuesday with immediate effect after less than four years in the oil major's top job for failing to fully disclose details of past personal relationships with colleagues, the company said. Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss will act as CEO on an interim basis, the company said.

Sep 12 - Europe set for light autumn refinery maintenance as fuel markets tighten
European oil refiners are set to have an autumn maintenance season less busy than usual, analysts and traders say, as they try to capture higher profit margins amid low fuel inventories and robust demand for gasoline and diesel. A lower refinery maintenance schedule means Europe will be less reliant on fuel imports at a time when global prices are elevated. It also means that refiners that remain online will have to snap up crude at higher prices and hence might face lower profits.

Sep 12 - Saudi Aramco to supply full oil volumes to N.Asia refiners
Saudi Aramco has notified at least five North Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude oil in October, sources with knowledge of the matter said on Monday, despite extended voluntary output cuts pledged by the Kingdom. The world's top oil exporter last week said it would prolong the 1 million barrels per day unilateral cut to the end of the year, driving up benchmark Brent crude above $90 a barrel for the first time this year.

Sep 11 - Oil prices steady around 10-month highs (Reuters)

- The benchmark oil price stabilised on Monday, holding above $90 a barrel reached last week for the first time in 10 months following fresh Saudi and Russian crude output cuts. Saudi Arabia and Russia last week announced that they will extend voluntary supply cuts of a combined 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the year. The supply cuts overshadowed continuing concern over Chinese economic activity. On Monday U.S. Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said that China's economic problems were more likely to have a local impact than affect the United States.

- Crude supply could see fresh disruption from powerful storms and floods in eastern Libya, which have killed 150 and forced the closure of four major oil export ports since Saturday - Ras Lanuf, Zueitina, Brega and Es Sidra. Meanwhile, Europe is expecting a light refinery maintenance season this autumn as refiners look to profit from high margins, which could support crude demand. Offline refinery capacity in Europe is pegged around 800,000 bpd according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie, down by 40% year-on-year.

- Brent crude rose by 19 cents, or 0.21%, to $90.84 a barrel by 1411 GMT on Monday while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude lost 2 cents, or 0.02%, to $87.49. A batch of macroeconomic data expected this week will inform whether central banks in Europe and the United States continue their aggressive rate hike campaigns. U.S. August consumer price index (CPI) data is due on Wednesday and could provide a steer on whether more increases to interest rates will be on the cards. The inflation data is likely to influence everything from stocks to foreign exchange, fixed income and commodity prices, said Naeem Aslam of Zaye Capital Markets. The European Central Bank is also expected to announce its interest rate decision this week. On Monday, the European Commission forecast the euro zone to grow more slowly than previously expected in 2023 and 2024.

- In focus too are monthly reports from the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) due later this week. The IEA last month lowered its 2024 forecast for oil demand growth to 1 million bpd, citing lacklustre macroeconomic conditions. OPEC's August report, meanwhile, kept its 2.25 million bpd demand growth forecast unchanged.

Sep 11 - Russia expects domestic fuel crunch to ease somewhat soon – agencies
Russia's domestic fuel shortage should ease somewhat soon as repairs works are nearing completion at a few oil refineries, which will provide more gasoline, Russia's news agencies cited Energy Ministry Nikolai Shulginov, as saying. "We're expecting repairs to end at refineries every day now," the Russian TASS state news agency cited Shulginov as saying. "We hope that in the coming days we will increase production volumes."

Sep 11 - Oil cut extension raises risk of Saudi economic contraction this year
Saudi Arabia faces the risk of an economic contraction this year following its decision to extend crude production cuts, highlighting its still heavy reliance on oil as reforms to diversify are slow moving. Riyadh says it aims to stabilise the oil market by extending a voluntary oil output cut of 1 million barrels per day until the end of 2023. Its announcement on Tuesday sent oil prices above $90 for the first time this year, but they are below average prices of around $100 a barrel last year in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Sep 08 - U.S. crude stocks fall for fourth straight week – EIA
U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell for the fourth consecutive week, with inventories down over 6% in the last month, as oil refiners run at high rates to keep up with global energy demand, Energy Information Administration data showed on Thursday. Crude inventories fell by 6.3 million barrels, triple the 2.1 million-barrel drop that analysts expected. Crude stocks are at 416.6 million barrels, down 6.5% since the start of August, the data showed. 

Sep 08 - Shell puts Germany's sonnen on the block
Oil and gas major Shell plans to put Germany's sonnen up for sale, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Thursday, with the solar storage manufacturer saying it had no comment but was focused on pursuing global growth of its business. Shell paid around 500 million euros for sonnen four years ago, but like its rivals has had to grapple with falling retail profit margins as wholesale energy prices have risen exceptionally following last year's supply crisis.

Sep 07 - Saudi Arabia raises October Arab light crude price to Asia
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday raised its October official selling price for its Arab light crude to Asia by 10 cents a barrel to $3.60 a barrel over the Oman/Dubai average, according to a statement from state oil company Saudi Aramco. Five refining sources surveyed by Reuters had said the OSP for flagship Arab Light crude could increase by about 45 cents a barrel from the previous month, which would have been the grade's highest price so far this year.  

Sep 07 - China's oil imports surge in August as fuel exports, inventories rise
China's crude oil imports surged in August, customs data showed, as refiners built inventories and increased processing to benefit from higher profits from exporting fuel. Shipments last month to the world's biggest oil importer were 52.8 million metric tons, or 12.43 million barrels per day, the data from the General Administration of Customs showed. The daily rate is the third-highest ever, according to Reuters calculations.

Sep 06 - Saudi Arabia, Russia extend voluntary oil cuts to year-end, markets jump
Saudi Arabia and Russia on Tuesday said they would extend voluntary oil cuts to the end of the year, despite a rally in the oil market and analyst expectations of tight supply in the fourth quarter. Oil prices rose sharply following the news, with Brent rising above $90 a barrel for the first time since November, despite steady increases in Iranian and Venezuelan oil exports as the market believes the United States is not enforcing sanctions as stringently as in previous years.

Sep 06 - G7 shelves regular Russian oil cap reviews as prices soar
The G7 and allies have shelved regular reviews of the Russian oil price cap scheme, people familiar with the matter told Reuters, even though most Russian crude is trading above the limit because of a rally in global crude prices. Russian producers have found ways to sell oil using fewer Western ships and insurance services, making it difficult for the West to enforce the existing price cap because the companies facilitating the trade are outside of their remit.

Sep 05 - Eni becomes latest energy giant to sell onshore Nigerian assets
Italy's Eni has agreed to sell its Nigerian onshore subsidiary to local company Oando, the two companies said on Monday, the latest international energy giant to divest onshore assets in the West African country. With the deal on its Nigerian unit Agip Oil Company Ltd, Eni takes another step in its long-term strategy to reduce oil exposure in favour of natural gas following its disposal in June of oil activities in Congo Republic.

Sep 05 - Hedge funds buy U.S. crude as stocks fall
Portfolio investors have become less bearish about the outlook for U.S. crude oil prices as inventories fall, but the rest of the petroleum complex continued to see light selling at the end of the seasonal holiday slowdown. Hedge funds and other money managers purchased the equivalent of 19 million barrels in the NYMEX and ICE U.S. crude futures and options contracts over the seven days ending on August 29.

Sep 04 - U.S. oil and gas output nears peak: Kemp
U.S. crude oil production increased again in June and is nearing the record high set before the pandemic, but the pace of growth is slowing as the industry responds to the fall in prices since the middle of 2022. Total crude and condensates production rose to 12.8 million barrels per day in June, up from 12.6 million bpd in May, and is rapidly approaching the record 13.0 million bpd set in November 2019. 

Sep 04 - APPEC-Global oil supplies to improve on refinery maintenance -Vitol exec
Global oil supplies are expected to improve in the next six to eight weeks because of refinery maintenance, although supplies of sour crude will stay tight, said Russell Hardy, chief executive of the world's largest independent oil trader, Vitol. Speaking at the APPEC conference in Singapore on Monday, Hardy said sour crude economics will remain stronger than sweet because of the OPEC+ cuts.

Sep 01 - OPEC oil output rises in August as Iran hits 2018 high -Reuters survey
OPEC oil output rose in August as Iranian supply rose to its highest since 2018, a Reuters survey found on Thursday, despite ongoing cuts by Saudi Arabia and other members of the wider OPEC+ alliance to support the market. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 27.56 million barrels per day this month, the survey found, up 220,000 bpd from July. That's the first rise since February, according to Reuters surveys.  

Sep 01 - Russia promises to unveil new OPEC+ supply cut deal next week
Russia has agreed with OPEC+ partners to reduce the export of oil and will announce the new main parameters next week, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak told President Vladimir Putin on Thursday. Russia, the world's second largest oil exporter, has been cutting output and exports in tandem with Saudi Arabia on top of existing OPEC+ reductions so the signal from Moscow indicates both nations may extend those voluntary cuts into October.

Aug 31 - Oil price forecasts raised as OPEC cuts seen offsetting China gloom (Reuters)

- Brent likely to stay above $80/bbl for the rest of 2023
- China recovery key to demand growth
- For a table of crude price forecasts, click

- Analysts have raised their 2023 oil price forecasts for the first time in four months with OPEC+ output cuts expected to keep supply tight, offsetting risks to demand from a stalling economic recovery in China, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday. A survey of 37 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude would average $82.45 a barrel in 2023, up from July's $81.95 consensus. Brent has averaged around $80.6 a barrel so far this year.

- West Texas Intermediate (WTI) U.S. crude is seen averaging $77.83 a barrel this year, above the previous month's $77.20 forecast.
"Though chances of a deep recession in the West have taken a backseat, the China demand boost expected in the second half of 2023 is probably off the table as well," Suvro Sarkar, energy sector team lead at DBS Bank, said.

- Maintaining oil prices at current levels will require a significant level of supply discipline from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia (OPEC+), Sarkar added. Most analysts polled by Reuters expect top exporter Saudi Arabia to extend its 1 million barrel-per-day voluntary supply cut, which is in addition to the cuts put in place by the wider OPEC+ group. That could see global benchmark Brent prices climbing to an average of $85.65 a barrel in the fourth quarter, the poll showed.
"We forecast that the market will fall into significant deficit in the third and fourth quarters of 2023," said Matt Sherwood, Lead Commodities Editor at the Economist Intelligence Unit.

- After tapping strategic petroleum reserves, many governments will need to rebuild stocks, adding to upward pressure on demand, Sherwood added. Global crude demand is expected to increase by up to 1.7 million barrels per day in 2023, the poll showed.

- Most analysts expect the bulk of oil demand growth this year and next will come from Asia and primarily China despite its weakening economy, although some sounded a note of caution.
"China is key for oil demand growth projections," said Julius Baer analyst Norbert Rücker.
"Given the persisting economic challenges and the anecdotal evidence of amply filled domestic oil storage, we believe that its contribution to growth remains overestimated."

Aug 31 - US oil stocks fall more than expected on strong export, refinery demand -EIA
Crude oil inventories drew down by 10.6 million barrels last week, more than expected on the back of robust exports and sturdy demand from refineries, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Crude inventories dropped to 422.9 million barrels, the lowest level since Dec. 30. Analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll were for a 3.3 million-barrel drop. 

Aug 31 - China slowdown, oil output cuts in focus at key energy industry events
China's tepid economic growth and a possible extension of oil output cuts from top exporter Saudi Arabia are set to dominate discussions as global energy executives and officials gather next week at two major industry events in Singapore. For the first time, the Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference and Gastech will take place in the same week, creating what will be the largest energy sector gathering in Asia since the pandemic.

Aug 30 - Gabon army officers say they have seized power after election in oil-rich country (Reuters)

Gabonese military appear on television as they announce that they have seized power following President Ali Bongo Ondimba's re-election, in this screengrab obtained by Reuters on August 30, 2023.

- Bongo's family have ruled for 56 years
- Street celebrations erupt in Gabon's capital
- China calls for peaceful resolution

- Military officers in oil-producing Gabon said they had seized power on Wednesday and had put President Ali Bongo under house arrest, after the Central African state's election body announced that he had won a third term. In an overnight television announcement, a dozen senior officers declared the election results were cancelled, borders were closed and state institutions were dissolved. They said they represented all Gabon's security and defence forces.

-  Hundreds of people took to the streets of the capital Libreville to celebrate in the morning following the overnight announcement, which appeared to have been filmed from the presidential palace, according to the television images. In another statement read on national television, the military officers said they had detained Bongo, who took over in 2009 from his father Omar, who had ruled Gabon since 1967. Opponents say the family has done little to share the state's oil and mining wealth with its 2.3 million people. If successful, the coup would be the eighth in West and Central Africa since 2020. The latest one, in Niger, was in July. Military officers have also seized power in Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso and Chad, erasing democratic gains since the 1990s.

- The officers, calling themselves The Committee of Transition and the Restoration of Institutions, said Gabon was "undergoing a severe institutional, political, economic, and social crisis", and said the Aug. 26 election was not transparent or credible. Gunfire had been heard briefly in Libreville after the statement announcing the ousting of Bongo, but the streets were largely calm before celebrations erupted. Later, police officers fanned out to guard major city intersections. There was no immediate comment from Gabon's government.

- Bongo, 64, was last seen in public casting his vote on Saturday. He had appeared in public before the election looking healthier than previous rare and frail television appearances following his stroke in 2019.

- French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said France, Gabon's former colonial ruler, was following the situation closely. The coup creates more uncertainty for France's presence in the region. It has about 350 troops stationed in Gabon. French forces were kicked out of Mali and Burkina Faso after coups there, amid a wave of anti-French sentiment, and Niger's coup leaders have also revoked military agreements with France.

- China's foreign ministry called for the situation in Gabon to be resolved peacefully and said the personal safety of Bongo, who visited China in April, should be ensured.

- Russia's foreign ministry also said it was worried about the situation and hoped for stabilisation

Aug 30 - Saudi Arabia may raise Oct Arab Light price to 10-month high
Saudi Arabia may raise prices of all crude grades it sells to Asia in October as the world's top oil exporter is expected to extend its voluntary output cut for a third month, keeping sour crude supply tight and prices elevated. The October official selling price for flagship Arab Light crude could increase by about 45 cents a barrel from the previous month, according to five refining sources surveyed by Reuters, which would be the grade's highest price so far this year. 

Aug 30 - Eni, Repsol to upgrade oil-for-debt deal with Venezuela
European oil majors Eni and Repsol plan to expand an oil-for-debt deal with Venezuela under U.S. approval, aiming to supply refined products to state firm PDVSA and boost oil deliveries to Europe, three people close to the matter said. As Western sanctions last year cut the flow of Russian oil to Europe, Eni and Repsol received authorization from the U.S. State Department to take Venezuelan crude and process it in European refineries, to recoup accumulated debt and dividends from their joint ventures in the South American country.

Aug 29 - Pemex crude processing slides in July, production lowest this year
Crude processing at Mexican state oil company Pemex's domestic refineries fell in July to 768,732 barrels per day (bpd), well below the goal of 1 million bpd set by the government in its effort to make the country self-sufficient in energy next year. Pemex has averaged 821,233 bpd of crude processing per month this year at its six domestic refineries, above last year's average of 815,790 bpd. 

Aug 29 - Indian refiner BPCL to spend $18.16 bln in oil, green energy over 5 years
Indian refiner Bharat Petroleum plans to invest $18.16 billion over five years to grow its oil business and expand its renewable energy portfolio as it aims for a 2040 net zero goal, Chairman G Krishnakumar said on Monday. Companies in India, the world's third largest emitter of greenhouse gases, are investing billions of dollars to cut their emissions, but they are also investing in fossil fuel as India's economic expansion is expected to drive petrochemical and fuel demand.

Aug 28 - BP urges more oil, gas investment while speeding energy transition
Global oil major BP said the world must invest in the production of oil and gas to avoid to sharp price spikes while accelerating the energy transition to combat greenhouse gas emissions. Global gas prices surged seven-fold last year as 3% of global gas supplies were hit following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, forcing countries to boost energy spending and shift to coal, BP CEO Bernard Looney said in New Delhi. 

Aug 28 - China's Sinopec plans steady refinery output on fuel recovery
Chinese refining giant Sinopec Corp plans to maintain steady refinery output during the second half of 2023 as domestic fuel demand recovers, after reporting a 20% decline in interim profit because of lower crude oil prices. Sinopec, the world's largest refiner by capacity, plans 127 million metric tons of crude throughput, about 5.04 million barrels per day, between July and December, versus 126.54 million tons during the first six months, the company said in a stock filing on Sunday.

Aug 25 - India’s sluggish oil consumption weighs on global prices: Kemp
India’s petroleum consumption increased to a record high in the first seven months of 2023 but growth has slowed markedly as the rebound from the coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns is completed. The economy is being hit by the same combination of rapid inflation and slowing global trade that has hit other major economies across South and East Asia. 

Aug 25 - Oil companies sue U.S. over Gulf auction changes meant to protect whale
An oil and gas industry trade group, the state of Louisiana and Chevron on Thursday sued the Biden administration over its decision to withdraw acreage from an upcoming oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico to protect an endangered whale. The suit is the latest dispute between the oil and gas industry and the administration of President Joe Biden over leasing federal lands and waters for energy development.

Aug 24 - Saudi Arabia will likely roll over 1 mln bpd cut into October, analysts say
Saudi Arabia will likely roll over a voluntary oil cut of 1 million barrels per day for a third consecutive month into October, five analysts said, amid uncertainty about supplies and as the kingdom targets drawing down global inventories further. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies led by Russia, agreed a broad deal in early June to curtail supplies until the end of 2024.  

Aug 24 - Washington drafts proposal for Venezuela's oil sanction easing
U.S. officials are drafting a proposal that would ease sanctions on Venezuela's oil sector, allowing more companies and countries to import its crude oil, if the South American nation moves toward a free and fair presidential election, according to five people with knowledge of the plans. Washington has been trying to encourage negotiations between President Nicolas Maduro and the political opposition over elections in Venezuela and other demands. Sanctions were imposed following Maduro's 2018 reelection, which many Western nations considered a sham.

Aug 23 - India's July Russian oil imports dip; Saudi import down to 2-1/2-yr low
India's July crude oil imports from Russia dipped for the first time in nine months, while inbound shipments from Saudi Arabia tumbled to their lowest in 2-1/2 years following OPEC+ cuts, tanker data from trade and industry sources showed. Both China and India, the world's biggest and third-biggest oil importers, cut imports from Russia and Saudi Arabia in July after prices rose and as the two oil producers reduced output and crude oil shipments.  

Aug 23 - US energy firm payouts to oil investors top exploration spending for first time
Top U.S. energy companies last year paid out more of their earnings to shareholders than they invested in new oil and gas fields for the first time, according to a report released on Tuesday. The outlook for stronger energy prices has not changed the focus on investor returns from the U.S. industry, according to the report's authors, Ernst & Young LLP. U.S. energy companies have been focused on regaining favor with investors after years of overspending on production growth hurt returns and put them in the doghouse.

Aug 22 - China's Saudi crude imports to remain depressed through third quarter
China's crude oil imports from top exporter Saudi Arabia are expected to remain depressed through the third quarter, analysts said, after its customs office reported inbound shipments from the kingdom fell to their lowest in 13 months in July. Chinese crude imports from both Russia and Saudi Arabia have dropped with the output cuts made by members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a group know as OPEC+.  

Aug 22 - Iraq oil minister in Turkey to discuss resuming northern oil exports
Iraq's oil minister Hayan Abdel-Ghani arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara to discuss several issues including the resumption of oil exports through the Ceyhan oil terminal, a source in the minister's office told Reuters on Monday. Iraqi oil minister will meet his Turkish counterpart to discuss energy issues, on top of which is the resumption of Iraq's northern oil exports via Turkey's Ceyhan port, said an oil official.

Aug 21 - China's July fuel oil imports ease from June high
China's fuel oil imports receded in July as refiners resumed using diluted bitumen after customs authorities eased months-long inspections, which replaced some demand for fuel oil, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Sunday. Total fuel oil imports in July were 1.6 million metric tons, versus 2.7 million tons in June, which was a decade-high.  

Aug 21 - Russia remains China's top crude supplier in July despite narrower discounts
Russia remained China's largest crude supplier in July, Chinese government data showed on Sunday, even as Russian shipments fall from all-time highs on narrower discounts and rising domestic demand crimps Russian exports. Arrivals from Russia were up 13% from the same month last year to 8.06 million metric tons in July, or 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd), according to data from the General Administration of Customs. 

Aug 18 - Venezuela appeals to US Supreme Court in last ditch move to limit Citgo auctionVenezuela is making a last ditch attempt to limit the number of companies that could participate in a court-ordered auction of shares in a parent of oil refiner Citgo Petroleum, appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's ruling. About two dozen companies including ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil and Tenaris SA are seeking to have claims against Venezuela or state-owned oil firm PDVSA satisfied by the sale of shares in PDV Holding, one of Citgo's parent companies. About $20 billion in claims are pending.  

Aug 18 - Oil market to tighten modestly in late 2023: KempProduction cuts announced by Saudi Arabia and its OPEC⁺ allies are expected to tighten the global petroleum market moderately over the remainder of 2023 and into the first quarter of 2024. Commercial inventories of crude oil and refined products in the OECD advanced economies were around 2,821 million barrels at the end of June, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Aug 17 - Oil rises as dollar eases, China seeks to soothe economic woes (Reuters)

- China's central bank pledges ample liquidity
- Dollar index eases from two-month highs
- Markets fear high U.S. interest rates for longer

- Oil prices rose more than 1% on Thursday, after falling for three straight sessions, as the dollar pulled back from highs and as China's central bank sought to bolster the property market and wider economy. Brent crude futures rose 95 cents, or 1.2% to $84.42 a barrel by 12:46 p.m. ET (1646 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) was up $1.23, or 1.6% at $80.60 a barrel. The previous session, prices fell more than 1.5% on worries about China's embattled economy and potential for further increases to U.S. interest rates.

- China's central bank said it would keep liquidity reasonably ample and maintain "precise and forceful" policy to support economic recovery against headwinds.
"Oil traders like the fact that China isn’t going to tolerate weakness in economic activity," said Naeem Aslam at Zaye Capital Markets.

- The dollar index slipped off a two-month high, the day after Federal Reserve meeting minutes left the door open for more rate hikes and data this week indicated a resilient U.S. economy. Higher interest rates increase borrowing costs, which could slow economic growth and reduce oil demand.

- On a bullish note, China made a rare draw on crude oil inventories in July, the first time in 33 months it has dipped into storage. Data released on Wednesday showed that U.S. crude oil inventories fell by nearly 6 million barrels last week on strong exports and refining run rates.

- U.S. gasoline stocks, however, drew to the lowest in more than two months, U.S. Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday. Weekly products supplied, a proxy for demand, rose to the highest since December.
"Travel demand has remained stubbornly strong," said Dennis Kissler, senior vice president of trading at BOK Financial. Travel demand typically tapers after U.S. Independence day holiday on July 4.

- Oil looks like it will find a home around the $80 level as too many risks to the macroeconomic outlook remain on the table, said OANDA analyst Edward Moya.

Aug 17 - US crude stockpiles fall even as output hits 2020 high - EIA
U.S. crude oil inventories fell last week as oil refiners increased run rates and exports surged, while crude production reached its highest since the coronavirus pandemic decimated fuel consumption, Energy Information Administration data showed on Wednesday. Crude inventories fell by 5.96 million barrels in the week to Aug. 11 to 439.7 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.3 million-barrel drop.

Aug 17 - Saudi oil exports fall for third month running

Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell for a third straight month in June to their lowest since September 2021, data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI) showed on Wednesday, with big Asian buyers favouring cheaper Russian oil. The kingdom's crude exports totalled 6.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in June, down about 1.8% from May's 6.93 million bpd.

Aug 16 - U.S. gasoline prices at year high, tight supply weighs on motorists
U.S. motorists hoping to squeeze out one last trip before the Labor Day holiday and school begins are finding pump prices that have surged to their highest level this year on tighter gasoline supplies. Consumers tend to get a break from steeper fuel costs as peak vacation travel ebbs. But strong demand and a series of refinery outages have pushed the national average retail price to $3.86 per gallon on Tuesday, according to the American Automobile Association - 7% higher than a month ago. In California and Washington, prices have surged above $5 a gallon. 

Aug 16 - Brazil's Petrobras hikes fuel prices after 'abrupt' global spike
Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras will raise gasoline and diesel prices at its refineries, it said on Tuesday, after an "abrupt" increase in global oil prices in recent weeks. The move was welcomed by investors but is likely to upset the federal government, as it is unpopular and brings renewed inflation fears just as the central bank started lowering interest rates.

Aug 15 - US shale oil and gas output to extend fall in September -EIA
Oil and natural gas output from top U.S. shale-producing regions is set to fall in September for the second straight month to the lowest levels since May, Energy Information Administration data showed on Monday. Shale oil output is expected to fall to 9.41 million barrels per day (bpd) in September, EIA data showed. It had touched 9.45 million bpd in July, its highest on record.  

Aug 15 - China's July oil refinery runs rise to meet domestic, export demand
China's oil refinery throughput in July rose 17.4% from a year earlier, data showed on Tuesday, as refiners kept output elevated to meet demand for domestic summer travel and to cash in on high regional profit margins by exporting fuel. Total refinery throughput in the world's second-largest oil consumer was 63.13 million metric tons last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed.

Aug 14 - Oil prices could rise further this year, but 2024 demand to slow sharply: IEA
OPEC+ supply cuts could erode oil inventories in the rest of this year, potentially driving prices even higher, before economic headwinds limit global demand growth in 2024, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday. Tighter supply driven by oil output cuts from OPEC and its allies, together known as OPEC+, and rising global demand have underpinned a rally in oil prices, with Brent crude hitting highs of over $88 a barrel on Thursday, the highest since January.

Aug 14 - U.S. diesel prices surge anticipating a soft landing: Kemp
Prices for diesel and other distillate fuel oils have surged as expectations for a soft landing and an improving economic outlook in the United States threaten to deplete already low inventories even further. Futures prices for ultra-low sulphur diesel delivered in New York Harbor in September climbed to $135 per barrel on Aug. 9, up from $95 on May 31.

Aug 11 - OPEC flags healthy oil market fundamentals in second half
Prospects for the global oil market look healthy for the second half of the year, OPEC said on Thursday as the producer group stuck to its forecast for robust oil demand in 2024 and nudged up its expectations for global economic growth. The upbeat view from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) comes as global oil prices have reached their highest since January. Tight supply has given impetus to the rally and OPEC's monthly report also showed Saudi Arabia delivered on a voluntary output cut in July. 

Aug 11 - Most Russian fuel exports now pricing above G7-imposed price cap
Most Russian fuel exports from the Baltic and Black Sea regions are now pricing above a price cap set in February by a G7-led coalition designed to limit Moscow's revenues in the aftermath of its invasion of Ukraine, data from price reporting agency Argus Media showed. The rise in Russian fuel prices comes as global prices for fuels from other origins soar amid strong demand and low inventory levels.

Aug 10 - US oil refiners to defy heat, run plants at mid-90% of capacity
Top U.S. oil refiners will run their plants this quarter at up to 95% of their combined 17.9 million barrel-per-day capacity, according to executives and analysts, defying this summer's extreme heat to pump out more fuels. The refining industry has been running at above 90% of capacity for more than a year on strong gasoline and diesel demand - and high profit margins.  

Aug 10 - Oil output inches up at top US shale firms, with faster growth elusive
Top U.S. shale oil producers are raising output by pulling more from each well but lack the level of activity to add significant new volumes, a Reuters analysis of investor forecasts showed. The companies that a decade ago upended global oil and gas markets and turned the U.S. into an oil-export powerhouse in recent years have been less of a factor because of a shift to maintain, but not significantly expand, their production.

Aug 09 - US crude output to rise to record 12.76 mln bpd in 2023 - EIA
U.S. crude oil production is expected to rise by 850,000 barrels per day to record 12.76 million bpd in 2023, according to a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration on Tuesday. Crude oil production is expected to rise by 330,000 barrels per day to 13.09 million bpd in 2024, EIA data showed.

Aug 09 - China's Venezuelan oil imports rebound in July, fuel oil tapers off
China's imports of heavy crude oil from Venezuela are poised to recover to levels last seen in March as more cargoes have passed through customs without delays, which could reduce refiners' appetite for substitute fuel oil, traders and analysts said. The Venezuelan crude, mostly heavy sour Merey and Boscan, is widely used by independent refineries in the eastern province of Shandong. Traders typically categorised Venezuelan and some Iranian heavy crude as diluted bitumen when clearing customs so refiners don't have to use crude import quotas that Beijing tightly controls.

Aug 08 - China's July crude imports drop to lowest since January
China's crude oil imports in July fell 18.8% from the previous month to the lowest daily rate since January, customs data showed on Tuesday, as major exporters cut back overseas shipments and domestic stocks continued to build. Crude shipments into the world's biggest oil importer in July totalled 43.69 million metric tons, or 10.29 million barrels per day (bpd), the data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

Aug 08 - Aramco boosts dividend as Q2 profit drops 38% to $30.1 bln
Saudi state oil giant Aramco on Monday announced an additional near $10 billion dividend, most of which will go to the government, the first of several extra payouts on top of its expected $153 billion base dividend for 2022 and 2023. Aramco will begin paying performance-linked dividends with a $9.87 billion payout in the third quarter, based on its full-year 2022 and first-half 2023 results, it said.

Aug 07 - Oil dips as end of US driving season weighs on demand (Reuters)

- Saudi Arabia extends supply cuts
- Investors cautious ahead of China, US inflation data this week

- Oil prices fell more than $1 a barrel on Monday following a protracted rally and as markets worried about lower demand as the summer driving season in the United States nears its end. Both Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude recovered from morning lows and were last trading at $85.70, down $1.05, and $81.79, down $1.02, respectively. Both benchmarks gained for their sixth consecutive week on Friday.
"The summer driving season is winding down in the United States," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho Securities USA. "If you don't need as much gasoline, you don't need as much oil."

- Meanwhile, Polish pipeline operator PERN said it expects to resume flows on a pipeline that transports oil to Europe on Tuesday, easing worries of supply constrains.
PERN had halted pumping through a section of the Druzhba pipeline after detecting a leak in central Poland on Saturday.

- The world's top exporter Saudi Arabia last week extended its voluntary production cut of 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to the end of September, and said more could follow. In line with production cuts, Saudi Aramco on Saturday raised the official selling prices for most grades it sells to Asia for a third month in September.

- Russia added to the supply tightness with an announcement it will cut oil exports by 300,000 bpd in September.

- Chinese economic data this week will be in focus as the market seeks to gauge Beijing's appetite for more stimulus measures to support the world's second-largest economy.

- Investors will also monitor the U.S. consumer price reading on Thursday that could offer clues on the Federal Reserve's monetary policy path. On Monday, U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Michelle Bowman said additional interest rate hikes will likely be needed to lower inflation to meet the Fed's 2% target.

Aug 07 - China's Yanchang seen doubling Russian oil purchases - sources + Reuters

- China's state-controlled Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group is expected to double its purchases of Russian ESPO blend this year to about one million metric tons, according to two sources familiar with the plant's operations. The company is due to start up a 50,000 barrels per day crude processing unit at its refinery in landlocked Shaanxi province in the north later this month, after retooling work that allows the plant to process more crude, the sources said.

- Chinese refiners, led by independent plants based in eastern Shandong province's refining hub, are maintaining strong interest in the light sweet crude exported from Russia's Far East port of Kozmino, bolstering the Russian oil's prices to multi-month highs. An official with Yanchang's refining division said the plant will likely process more imported crude oil this year, but did not comment specifically on Russian crude. The Yanchang plant has bought three ESPO cargoes for August and September deliveries into Qingdao port, according to trading sources who closely follow ESPO transactions. That will bring Yanchang's total purchases so far this year to 600,000-700,000 tonnes, about 4.4 million to 5.1 million barrels, one of the sources added.

- Apart from the revamped crude processing unit, Yanchang also has remaining crude quotas to use up by the end of the year, a second trader said. From Qingdao port, Yanchang transports the crude oil by rail, taking about a day to reach Shaanxi's Yulin city, where the plant is based. Backed by the Shaanxi provincial government, Yanchang Petroleum is a rare regional oil and gas producer outside the national energy majors. It also invests in large coal-to-chemicals businesses.

The refining subsidiary processed nearly 14 million tons of crude last year, or 280,000 barrels per day, local state media has reported.

Aug 07 - OPEC+ panel keeps policy unchanged against backdrop of stronger oil market
An OPEC+ ministerial panel which met on Friday made no changes to the group's current oil output policy after a Saudi decision to extend its voluntary production cut into September helped oil prices rally further. The panel, called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, can call for a full meeting of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, if warranted. 

Aug 07 - Surging U.S. crude oil exports disrupt European, Asian prices
Surging U.S. crude exports in 2023 are pushing down oil prices in Europe and Asia, proving a key source of supply as producers cut output and sanctions on Russian crude disrupt trade flows. The introduction in June of U.S. crude grade WTI Midland to set the price of the dated Brent benchmark assessed by S&P Global Commodity Insights has not only spurred the rising exports but also helped to cap Brent and the European, African, Brazilian and Asian oil that are priced off the benchmark, traders and analysts said. U.S. crude exports are also easing the loss of supply after Saudi Arabia deepened output cuts from July, above what major producers agreed to in June.

Aug 04 - Saudi Arabia extends 1 mln bpd oil cut, may deepen it in future
Saudi Arabia will extend a voluntary oil output cut of one million barrels per day for another month to include September, it said on Thursday, adding it could be extended beyond that or deepened. The kingdom's production for September will be around 9 million barrels per day (bpd), the state news agency SPA cited an official source at the energy ministry as saying.

Aug 03 - US sees price cap on Russian oil working despite upturn in prices (Reuters)

- The United States remains confident that the Group of Seven's price cap on Russian oil is working to squeeze Moscow's revenues and stabilize energy markets despite a recent upturn in prices, a senior U.S. Treasury official said on Thursday. Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic Policy Eric Van Nostrand hailed the price cap as a successful part of the multilateral sanctions regime imposed on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine and said Washington and its partners were working to thwart any evasion.
"Our approach has struck at the heart of the Kremlin’s most important cash cow. Before the war, oil revenues constituted about a third of the total Russian budget, but in 2023 that number has fallen to just 25%," he said in remarks prepared for a London conference.

- The G7, the European Union and Australia imposed the $60 per barrel cap last December on sea-borne exports of Russian crude in retaliation for Russia’s war on Ukraine. It bans Western companies from providing services such as transportation, insurance and financing for the oil sold above the cap.

-Van Nostrand said Russian data showed federal government oil revenues were nearly 50% lower in the first half of 2023 than a year earlier, and Russian oil was trading at "a significant discount" to Brent oil. Russian officials had also complained about the impact of the price cap, he said, and the Kremlin has been forced to consider raising taxes on oil exporters to boost revenues, which could weaken the long-term outlook for its oil industry. Van Nostrand said the average reported price for Russian Urals had hovered around $60, the level of the price cap, despite recent price increases as well as widespread expectations that the price would rise in the second half of 2023. Russia's Finance Ministry this week said Urals crude oil blend traded at $64.37 per barrel on average in July, up from $55.28 per barrel in June.

- Russia will cut exports by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) in September, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday. Russia, the world's biggest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, had already pledged to cut oil output by 500,000 bpd, or about 5%, from March until year-end.

- Global oil benchmark Brent jumped about 2% to nearly $85 a barrel on Thursday after Saudi Arabia extended its voluntary one million bpd output cut by another month to the end of September. Van Nostrand said the cap was continuing to limit Russian revenues, while giving "non-coalition buyers additional leverage to negotiate prices down."

- Any investments the Russian government made into the so-called shadow fleet used to transport oil, or into its own insurance companies in order to sell above the price cap, was draining funds available to support the war in Ukraine, he said. Russian oil traded outside of the G7 nexus was still sold at a sizeable discount to Brent oil, and shipping capacity limited how much business Russia could do outside the G7, he added.
"Lower-income countries have been beneficiaries of this stability as they continue to import discounted Russian oil that the G7 no longer takes or benefit from generally lower global oil prices," Van Nostrand said.

Still, Van Nostrand said Washington understood that markets could change rapidly, and Russia would keep trying to evade the price cap.
"We remain vigilant in monitoring oil markets and the whole coalition remains focused on enforcing our sanctions," he sai

Aug 03 - OPEC+ panel unlikely to tweak oil policy at Friday meeting
OPEC+ is unlikely to tweak its current oil output policy when a panel meets on Friday, six OPEC+ sources told Reuters, as tighter supplies and resilient demand drive an oil price rally. Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies led by Russia, known as OPEC+, meet on Aug. 4. The panel, called the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, can call for a full OPEC+ meeting if warranted. 

Aug 03 - U.S. crude stockpiles in week fall by largest on record -EIA
U.S. crude stocks fell the most on record last week as exports topped 5 million barrels per day and refineries processed more crude, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday. Most of the fall in crude stocks came from a record drop in stockpiles held in the refining hubs of the U.S. Gulf Coast. Stocks there fell by a record 15.57 million barrels to 243.4 million barrels as refiners in the region processed the most crude since August 2022, the EIA said.

Aug 01 - OPEC oil output falls on Saudi cut and Nigerian outage, Reuters survey finds
OPEC oil output has fallen in July after Saudi Arabia made an additional voluntary cut as part of the OPEC+ producer group's latest agreement to support the market and an outage curbed Nigerian supply, a Reuters survey found on Monday. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 27.34 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the survey found, down 840,000 bpd from June. That's the lowest since September 2021 according to Reuters surveys.  

Aug 01 - Oil to drift lower as slower growth offsets OPEC+ cuts
Oil prices will stall this year as weak economic growth is expected to curb demand and offset the impact of OPEC+ production cuts on supply, a Reuters poll showed on Monday. A survey of 37 economists and analysts forecast Brent crude would average $81.95 a barrel in 2023, down from June's $83.03 consensus and current levels of around $85. Brent was forecast to average $83.67 next year.

Aug 01 - China's oil and uranium business in Niger (Reuters)

- China, Niger's second-largest foreign investor after former colonial power France, has in the past two decades ploughed billions of dollars into the landlocked West African nation, mainly for the exploration of oil and uranium. Since last week's coup, in which military leaders detained Niger's President Mohamed Bazoum and established a military government, China says it is closely monitoring the situation, and urges parties in Niger to safeguard stability. China's total foreign direct investment (FDI) into Niger stood at $2.68 billion as at the end of 2020, according to the U.S. Embassy in Niger. Following are China's main investments in Niger, predominantly by state energy giant PetroChina and national nuclear firm CNNC:

OIL ASSETS
- Niger became an oil producer in 2011 when the Agadem oilfield, a joint venture between the government and PetroChina (601857.SS), started production. PetroChina entered a production sharing agreement in 2008 with the Nigerien government to develop the field, located some 1,600km (1,000 miles) east of the capital Niamey, with estimated reserves of 650 million barrels.
- As part of the deal, PetroChina invested in the construction of the SORAZ refinery, located 460km away in the southern city of Zinder, near the border with Nigeria. PetroChina holds a 60% stake in the refinery, which has a capacity of 20,000 barrels per day (bpd) and mostly supplies the Nigerien domestic fuel market. The remaining share is held by the Nigerien government.
- In September 2019, PetroChina entered into another agreement with the Nigerien government to lay a 2,000-km (1,200 miles) pipeline between the Agadem field and the Beninese port city of Cotonou.
- The pipeline investment is twinned with a second phase of development of the Agadem field. Taken together, total investment into the pipeline and second phase development is expected to reach $4 billion, according to China's Ministry of Commerce. The pipeline, the longest of its kind in Africa, is planned to mitigate the security and logistical challenges of exporting crude from the troubled area, and designed to carry 90,000 barrels per day, according to China's Ministry of Commerce. The project was 63% complete as of February this year, according to a PetroChina statement.
- PetroChina did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment. In May this year, state oil and gas major Sinopec entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Nigerien government paving the way for further potential cooperation between Beijing and Niamey in oil and gas.

URANIUM MINE
- In 2007, state-owned China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) (601985.SS) entered a joint venture with the Nigerien government to develop the Azelik uranium mine in the centre of the country. CNNC owns 37.2% of the project, with a further 24.8% owned by Chinese investment entity ZXJOY Invest, according to a 2010 filing with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
- The Nigerien government received a 650 million yuan ($90.93 million) loan from Chinese state-owned Eximbank to support development of the project in 2009.
- The mine has estimated total reserves of 11,227 metric tons, and annual production capacity of 700 tons, according to the filing. The project was halted in 2015 due to unfavourable market conditions.
- Niger, which has Africa's highest-grade uranium ores, produced 2,020 metric tons of uranium in 2022, about 5% of world mining output, according to the World Nuclear Association. CNNC did not immediately respond to Reuters' request for comment.