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Oil prices inch up on signs of tightening global supply

Oil futures edged up on Thursday as a drop in crude exports from OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in U.S. drilling rigs and oil inventories supported prices. Brent crude futures settled at $71.97 a barrel, up 35 cents from their last close and near Wednesday’s five-month high of $72.27. Brent saw a weekly gain of 0.6 percent, marking the fourth consecutive weekly rise for the international benchmark. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $64.00 a barrel, up 24.00 cents. U.S. futures gained just ...

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Oil Steadies as Political Risks Mingle With Economic Worries

Oil steadied below $64 a barrel in New York as ongoing threats to supply from political crises were offset by disappointing indicators on the global economy. West Texas Intermediate futures gained 12 cents, bringing their gain this week to 0.2 percent. A Purchasing Managers’ Index, which measures private-sector activity in the euro area, unexpectedly slid in April, and German factory numbers came in lower than forecast. Still, an escalating crisis in OPEC nation Libya threatens to add to disruptions in Venezuela and Iran at the same time that other members ...

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Russia’s Novak: early to speak about options for oil output deal

Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak, speaking about Moscow’s position on extending a global oil output deal, said on Wednesday it was too early to speak about preferable options. “We should do what is more expedient for us,” Novak said. The deal should be aimed at balancing the global oil market but should not be designed to achieve a certain oil price level, Novak said. In June, OPEC and its partners – including Russia – will decide whether to extend their agreement, which has reduced supply since January. Source: Reuters (Reporting ...

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Oil markets smooth the way for blockbuster bond offering

Oil prices continued their six-week rally last week, with Brent comfortably closing above $71 a barrel. This largely reflected the outlook for the supply-demand balance in the market. The alliance of OPEC and 10 friendly oil-producing nations led by Russia — known as OPEC+ — sufficiently balanced the market when it decided to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) at its meeting in Vienna in December. The action was needed at the time, because waivers to the Iran sanctions the US had earlier granted eight countries had ...

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White House will tie Iran sanctions review to response by Saudi Arabia

The White House will have to weigh costs and benefits carefully before tightening sanctions on Iran and Venezuela further – and decide whether the economic price is worth the diplomatic gains. If the White House toughens sanctions on Iran and Venezuela significantly (and the next decision on Iran sanctions is scheduled for the first week of May) any decision is likely to be tied to production increases by Saudi Arabia. The White House is likely to agree to scale back Iran sanctions waivers if, and only if, Saudi Arabia commits ...

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Refinery news roundup: Strikes under way or looming in Europe amid strikes

Strikes remain in the limelight in Europe as refinery maintenance works draw to a close. The UK’s Unite union decided to go ahead with the ballot for “industrial action up to and including strike” among its members at Essar’s Stanlow refinery in northeast England. The ballot will open April 8 and close April 29. Strikes are ongoing at two sites in the Netherlands and also in Portugal, where the government declared a national alert Tuesday evening after strike action by the country’s hauliers has caused nationwide issues in fuel supply. ...

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Oil prices slip, but ongoing supply cuts support

Oil markets fell on Thursday despite a surprise decline in U.S. inventories, but the price drops were tempered by a smaller-than-expected reduction in gasoline stocks and ongoing OPEC-led supply cuts. Brent crude futures were at $71.43 a barrel at 0700 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close and further away from Wednesday’s five-month high of $72.27 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $63.62 per barrel, down 14 cents, or 0.2 percent. Both contracts had traded slightly higher earlier in the day. ...

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Hell or high water in the Permian Basin?

From sourcing to disposal, water is becoming the largest challenge to field development in the Permian Basin. Failure to address these issues could increase costs, with potential consequences as severe as well shut-ins. The number of completed Permian wells continues to increase, and water disposal volumes are forecast to double by 2022, as we told the Houston Chronicle. This produces increasingly large volumes of water. Even with 100% water reuse for completions, which is unlikely, the current salt water disposal infrastructure is expected to hit capacity in the near future. ...

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Iran Oil Buyers Stay on Sidelines as Waiver Decision Looms

The biggest buyers of Iranian oil are said to be putting their purchases on hold as they wait to see whether the White House will extend waivers allowing them to keep buying the crude. Most Asian buyers are avoiding imports for next month as it’s unclear what will happen to the exemptions that are set to expire in the first week of May, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Even if the waivers are extended, it would be too late to order and receive cargoes for the month, ...

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Refinery news roundup: April-May works in Russia mostly in Far East

Russian refineries have little April maintenance in central regions, with larger scale maintenance scheduled in the Far East. There have been a number of fire incidents although those were not see as affecting supply. NEAR-TERM NEW AND REVISED ENTRIES –A CDU unit AVT-5 has been halted at Russia’s Perm refinery after a fire in mid April, local media reported. The rest of the refinery is operating, according to the report citing the refinery. –Fire services have extinguished some residue that caught fire at the Ufa refinery, the local emergency services ...

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U.S. crude stockpiles drop unexpectedly last week: EIA

U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell unexpectedly last week as imports dropped, while gasoline and distillate inventories decreased less than forecasts, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 1.4 million barrels in week to April 12, compared with analysts’ expectations for an increase of 1.7 million barrels. A majority of the decline came from the Midwest region, where inventories fell 2.4 million barrels to 135.3 million barrels. Net U.S. crude imports fell last week by 659,000 barrels per day (bpd). Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for ...

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China March refinery runs ease off record, crude output accelerates

Refinery output in China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, eased from record highs in March after maintenance shutdowns offset production from a new mega refinery. Refinery throughput in March rose 3.2 percent from a year earlier to 53.04 million tonnes, or 12.49 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday. For the first quarter, crude runs rose 4.4 percent on a year earlier to 155.37 million tonnes, or 12.6 million bpd. March throughput was down from record rates in the January to February ...

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OPEC risks gambling away success of production cuts as US$80 oil looms

After managing to revive oil prices through production cutbacks, OPEC now risks squandering its victory again by letting crude surge too high. In the first quarter, coordinated production curbs by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies helped oil rally the most in almost a decade, restoring prices to over US$70 a barrel. Saudi Arabia, the group’s most powerful member, has made clear that it’s determined to keep supplies tight. That risks a repeat of 2018, when production cuts propelled oil to a four-year high, provoking a backlash ...

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US oil output could see change of pace as producers rein in spending

Upstream oil and gas producers in the US are trapped in a dilemma they might have previously thought would be desirable: abundant production at low cost. For decades, higher production from oil companies was what the market wanted and rewarded. If producers had to borrow and overspend to do it, the attitude was “c’est la vie”. But in the last couple of years, it has become clear that what is desired, often voiced and certainly rewarded, is slower production growth and reined-in spending. Capital discipline has been the watchword among ...

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Oman Crude Production Exceeds 30 Million Barrel in March

The Sultanate’s crude oil and condensates production stood at 30,070,744 barrels during March 2019, with a daily average of 970,024 barrels. The monthly report issued by the Ministry of Oil and Gas pointed out that the total exported quantities of the Omani crude oil during March 2019 reached 25,704,226 barrels, with a daily average of 829,169 barrels. The Asian markets received the bulk of the Omani crude oil exports during March 2019. China remained on the top list of the largest buyers of the Omani oil exports with 81.37 per ...

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