The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.
Oil Fluctuates After Crude Inventories Gain, Distillates Shrink
Oil fluctuated in New York after its biggest gain in a week. An industry report showed U.S. crude and gasoline stockpiles increased last week, while distillate inventories declined.
Heating Season’s Peak Passes as Gas Glut Expands: Energy Markets
The 2012-2013 heating season has been warmer than normal in the large energy-consuming cities of the U.S. Northeast and Midwest, cutting demand and prices for natural gas and widening a stockpile surplus in a trend that may last through March.
Crude Oil, Gasoline Inventories Increased Last Week, API Reports
Oil supplies increased 3.63 million barrels last week to 371.8 million, the American Petroleum Institute said.
Fuel Oil Supply to Asia Rises to 3.1 Million Tons for March
Fuel oil shipments to Asia will rise in March, with 3.1 million metric tons scheduled to arrive from Western countries, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Marubeni Buys 49% Stake in $1 Billion Gulf of Mexico Oil Project
Marubeni Corp. bought a 49 percent stake from Williams Partners LP in an oil and gas platform project in the Gulf of Mexico that will cost $1 billion as it seeks to participate in North America’s expanding energy output.
Suncor Posts Its First Quarterly Loss in 3 1/2 Years on Voyageur
Suncor Energy Inc., Canada’s largest energy company by market value, reported its first quarterly loss in 3 1/2 years after a charge of C$1.49 billion ($1.49 billion) related to its Voyageur oil project in the province of Alberta, which may face cancellation.
European Naphtha Cargoes to Asia Increase to Five in February
European naphtha shipments to Asia rose to five cargoes loading in February from four a week earlier, shipping data showed.
U.S. Gasoline Demand Fell 1.6% Last Week, MasterCard Says (1)
Gasoline demand was 8.5 million barrels a day last week, MasterCard Inc. said, down 1.6 percent from the previous week.
Fracking Industry Adviser Picked by Cuomo Agency Fuels Complaint
New York’s selection of a university geologist and gas- industry consultant to study hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes prompted a drilling opponent to say conclusions of a state agency may be tainted.
Natural Gas Futures Climb as Colder Weather to Stoke Demand
Natural gas futures climbed to the highest price in more than a week on forecasts of unusually cold weather that will stoke demand for the heating fuel.
Cuomo Agency Hires Fracking Geologist With Ties to Gas Industry
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration hired a university geologist and consultant for gas driller EQT Corp. to study links between hydraulic fracturing and earthquakes, a move that drew criticism from a government watchdog group.
API Snapshot: U.S. Crude-Oil Inventories Rose 3.62 Mln Barrels
The following table is a summary of the latest Weekly Statistical Bulletin from the American Petroleum Institute. *T
Iran Cash Faces Tighter Squeeze as Oil Export Sanctions Stiffen
Iran faces a fresh obstacle to turning its most lucrative export into cash as the U.S. tightens sanctions this week to keep importers from paying for the oil with dollars and euros.
REFINERIES Map global refinery outages
Amuay Refinery Flexicoker To Be Offline For a Week, PDVSA Says
Unit was shut down today at 11:35 a.m. Caracas time after line obstruction, PDVSA says.
Shell Says Evacuation Yesterday Occurred at Deer Park Refinery
Section of Deer Park refinery evacuated after pinhole leak on sour gas feed, Kimberly Windon, Royal Dutch Shell Plc spokeswoman, said by e-mail.
Air Products Wilmington Plant Reports Breakdown, Flares Gases
Air Products & Chemicals Inc. will flare gases at its Wilmington hydrogen plant today through Feb. 7, notice to South Coast Air Quality Management District shows.
Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery Reported Unit Startup Yesterday
Tesoro Corp. reported “major unit startup” at refinery in Northern California yesterday, notice to Contra Costa County regulators show.
BP Toledo Plant Said to Plan Alkylation Unit Shutdown in April
Toledo refinery in Ohio will remain out of service for as long as a month for maintenance turnaround, person with direct knowledge of schedule tells Bloomberg’s Lynn Doan.
Delek El Dorado Will Add 25,000 Bpd Midland Crude in 1H 2013
Delek US Holdings Inc. said improved pipeline access will allow its refinery in Arkansas to run total of 35,000 b/d of West Texas oil.
San Francisco Gasoline Strengthens as Tesoro Seen Cutting Rates
Spot gasoline in San Francisco strengthened to the highest level against futures in more than three months after Tesoro Corp.’s Golden Eagle refinery was said to shut the hydrocracker for repair.
Shell Deer Park Evacuated Workers From Area of Plant Yesterday
Royal Dutch Shell Plc said it barricaded a section of its facility near Houston after discovering a pinhole leak on the sour gas feed to the rectified absorber column.
Oil Supplies Rise in Survey on Seaway Disruption: Energy Markets
U.S. crude stockpiles probably rose to a seven-week high as limits to the Seaway pipeline reduced oil flows to Gulf Coast refineries, a Bloomberg survey showed.
OTHER OIL MARKET NEWS
Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Fall 23.8 %
The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan fell 23.8 percent to 7.99 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.
Saudi Arabia to Japan Tanker Rates Falls 0.3% to 31.80 Points
The cost of delivering Middle East crude to Asia, the world’s busiest route for supertankers, declined 0.3 percent to 31.80 Worldscale points, according to the Baltic Exchange in London.
North Sea Grane Crude Exports to Drop to Four Cargoes in March
Exports of North Sea Grane crude in March will drop to four cargoes of 600,000 barrels, one less than this month, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg News.
Iran Set to Cut March Differentials to Asia After Saudi Changes
National Iranian Oil Co. is set to cut price differentials for all crude sales to Asian customers in March after a similar change by Saudi Arabia.
Crude Official Selling Prices and Formulas by Country (Table)
The following table shows official prices, formulas and relative values for crudes from the Middle East, Asia, Africa and the Americas. Figures represent outright prices in dollars a barrel, or premiums and discounts to regional benchmarks where plus and minus symbols appear.
Saudi Aramco Cuts March Crude Differentials for Buyers in Asia
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, cut differentials used in determining official selling prices for all of its grades to customers in Asia for March and raised premiums for light blends to the U.S.
TOP ENERGY STORIES
Stocks Rebound With Oil While Treasuries Retreat, Yen Weakens
Stocks rallied, with benchmark indexes rebounding from the worst losses of the year, as more companies posted improving earnings and Dell Inc. agreed to the largest leveraged buyout since the financial crisis. Oil gained, while the yen weakened and Treasuries slid.
Super Bowl Blackout Wasn’t Caused by Cyberattack, Entergy Says
Entergy Corp. has ruled out a cyberattack as a cause of the blackout that interrupted the Super Bowl.
Petrobras Sinks on Dividend Cut as Earnings Decline: Rio Mover
Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s voting shares plummeted to the lowest since 2005 after the state-run oil producer said it will reduce dividends as earnings before items unexpectedly dropped.
BP Fourth-Quarter Earnings Decline as Oil Production Drops (5)
BP Plc said fourth-quarter profit declined as oil and natural gas production slipped at Europe’s second-biggest energy company.
Sinopec to Sell Shares Worth $3.1 Billion Amid Acquisitions (3)
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. will raise HK$24 billion ($3.1 billion) in its biggest share sale since listing in 2000 as it looks to add production assets.
Duke Reactor Shutdown Plan Shows Shale’s Sway Over Power: Energy
Duke Energy’s decision to dismantle a Florida nuclear power plant rather than undertake the costliest- ever U.S. atomic repair shows how rapidly cheap natural gas is remaking the U.S. power industry, hastening a shift from traditional fuels such as coal and uranium.
Mexico Says Gas Buildup Caused Deadliest Blast Since 2006 (2)
Mexican authorities said a buildup of gas led to the blast last week that killed 37 people at Petroleos Mexicanos’s headquarters, the first official attempt to explain the nation’s deadliest explosion since 2006.
Total in Talks to Sell Unit to Snam-Led Group for $3.26 Billion
Total SA entered exclusive talks to sell the TIGF natural gas network in southwestern France to Snam SpA, Electricite de France SA and the Government of Singapore Investment Corp. for 2.4 billion euros ($3.26 billion).
U.S. Solar Projects Will Eclipse Wind This Year, Duke Says (1)
The U.S. will add more solar power in 2013 than wind energy for the first time as wind projects slump and cheap panels spur demand for photovoltaic systems, according to the head of Duke Energy Corp.’s renewable-energy development unit.
Duke Energy to Shut Florida Reactor and Seek $1.65 Billion (3)
Duke Energy Corp., the largest U.S. utility owner, will permanently shut its Crystal River nuclear power plant in Florida after deciding the risks and costs associated with repairing it outweighed the benefits.
Asian Stocks Climb on Earnings Optimism; Yen Sinks to 3-Year Low
Japanese shares led a rally in Asian stocks as Toyota Motor Corp. raised its earnings forecast and the yen sank to the weakest level in almost three years. Platinum and copper gained, while Australia’s dollar fell.
Yen Touches 94 Per Dollar for 1st Time Since 2010 on BOJ Change
The yen weakened to 94 per dollar for the first time since May 2010 on speculation Japan’s government will hasten the selection of a new central bank chief to take further steps to end deflation.
Brazil Losing Mantega’s War as Stagflation Threatens: Currencies
Brazil is finding that winning the global currency wars may mean it’s actually losing.
Asian Stocks Rise as Toyota Raises Profit Forecast, Yen Weakens
Asian stocks rose, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 Stock Average closing at the highest in four years, as Toyota Motor Corp. raised its profit forecast and the yen weakened, boosting the earnings outlook for exporters.
Korean Stocks Drop Most in Asia as Pioneer Sells on Won Rise (1)
South Korean stocks are tumbling at the fastest pace in Asia as the strengthening won curbs profits at the nation’s biggest exporters, causing international investors to sell the most shares since July.
Merchant Commodity Fund Cuts Jobs After Second Annual Loss (1)
The Merchant Commodity Fund, managed by Doug King and Michael Coleman, cut a third of its staff after two consecutive years of losses during which assets under management slumped almost 90 percent.
Carmakers Use Aluminum Over Steel in Boost for Rio: Commodities
Carmakers from Ford Motor Co. to Audi AG and Jaguar Land Rover Plc are using record amounts of aluminum to replace heavier steel, providing relief to producers of the metal confronting excess supplies and depressed prices.
Abe Calls China Radar Targeting of Japan Naval Ship Provocative
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe denounced China’s use of weapons-targeting radar on one of Japan’s naval vessels as provocative, saying the move will undermine efforts to ease tensions over a territorial dispute.
China Approves Income Plan as Wealth Gap Poses Risks to Xi (1)
China’s State Council approved an income-distribution plan intended to tackle the nation’s wealth gap, with the government describing the task as huge, complicated and unable to be completed in a single step.
Chelsea Considers New Move for Dortmund’s Klopp: Soccer Roundup
The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers with clickable Internet links.
Singapore Police to Work With European Soccer Match-Fixing Probe
Police in Singapore are cooperating with a European law enforcement investigation into the attempted fixing of more than 680 professional soccer matches.
VTB Says Billionaire Abramovich’s Son Interning at London Bank
VTB Group, Russia’s second-largest lender, said billionaire Roman Abramovich’s son is working as an intern at its London investment bank.
Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract
---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 96.62 -0.02 0.0 Nymex March Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 116.52 +0.92 +0.8 Ice March Gasoil ($/Ton) 999.00 +5.75 +0.6 Ice March Gasoline (c/Gal) 303.74 +2.59 +0.9 Nymex March Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 3.42 +0.02 +0.7 Nymex March Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 116.26 +0.90 +0.8 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 319.13 +3.73 +1.2 Nymex March Other markets:
----- ----- Dollar Index 79.53 -- Gold ($/Oz) 1,673.50 -0.2 MSCI World Index 1,405.15 +0.4 Prices as of 11 p.m. GMT
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.org