Bloomberg News

TOP Oil Market News: Crude Trades Near Lowest Price in 10 Weeks

March 04, 2013

The following is a selection of the most important news affecting the oil market.

WTI Oil Trades Near 10-Week Low; Libya Halts Zawara Crude Output

West Texas Intermediate crude traded near the lowest level in 10 weeks after a report showed money managers cut their bets prices will rise. Libya halted some oil production and natural gas shipments amid fighting.

Keystone Report Spurs Opponents to Vow Stiffer Fight on Pipeline

Opponents of TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL pipeline say they intend to make President Barack Obama hear their concerns after a March 1 report helped clear a way for White House approval of the project.

Marathon Said to Join Oil CEO Search as Bid War Looms: Energy

A wave of shareholder rebellions and executive retirements that’s left at least six North American oil and gas companies searching for chief executive officers is leading toward a bidding war for the industry’s best leaders.

Ophir Seen Luring Shell in Africa Amid Cash Crunch: Real M&A

Ophir Energy Plc, the U.K. explorer with natural gas assets in Africa, is turning into a takeover target for producers including Royal Dutch Shell Plc as its limited cash hampers the ability to develop finds on its own.

Hedge Fund Bullish Gas Bets Rise to 3-Month High: Energy Markets

Hedge funds raised bullish bets on natural gas to the highest since November as cold weather across the U.S. boosted heating demand and eroded a stockpile glut.

Brazil Anticipates Chevron Bid at Auction After Oil Spill

Brazil’s oil regulator anticipates Chevron Corp., which suspended operations in the country last year after an off-shore spill, will submit a bid in an auction for new oil blocks this year.

Mangalore Refinery Offers Jet Fuel, Vacuum Gasoil, Naphtha

Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. offered naphtha, jet fuel and vacuum gasoil for April loading, according to notices sent to potential buyers.

Idemitsu, Marubeni Said to Buy March Naphtha From MRPL, ONGC (1)

Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Marubeni Corp. bought a total of 70,000 metric tons of naphtha for March from Mangalore Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. and its parent, Oil & Natural Gas Corp., said three traders who asked not to be identified because the information is confidential.

REFINERIES Map global refinery outages

Showa Shell Plans ‘Major’ Maintenance at Yokkaichi Plant in June

Co. plans maintenance at plant in western Japan with refining capacity of 210,000 barrels a day from early June to early August, spokesman Satoshi Yoshida says by phone.

Sinopec Maoming Refinery Starts New Hydrocracking Unit

Maoming refinery started the unit with processing capacity of 2.4 million mt a year March 2, China Petrochemical Corp., parent company, says in online newsletter today.

Tesoro Golden Eagle Refinery Reports Unit Startup

Tesoro Corp. reported a unit startup at its Golden Eagle refinery in Martinez, Calif., at 2pm local time.

California Gasoline Little Changed as BP Delays Refinery Restart

Gasoline on the spot market in California was little changed as BP Plc delayed the restart of fuel-making units at its Carson refinery in Southern California.

BP Carson Delays Start of Catalytic Cracker, Alkylation Unit

BP Plc expects to restart the units following planned maintenance between March 4 and March 12, according to a person familiar with operations at the Southern California refinery.

BP Carson Delays Start of Catalytic Cracker, Alkylation Unit

BP Carson plans to start units March 4-12 after planned work.

Phillips 66 Wood River Said to Cut Crude Unit Rates for Work

Phillips 66’s Wood River, Illinois, refinery has cut rates at two crude distillation units for planned work, a person familiar with the turnaround said.

Gulf Diesel Strengthens as Shell Begins Deer Park Refinery Work

U.S. Gulf Coast diesel fuel strengthened against futures as Royal Dutch Shell Plc began planned maintenance at its 340,000- barrel-a-day Deer Park, Texas, refinery following a drop in area supplies.

Gasoline Rises on Factory Expansion, Rising Consumer Confidence

Gasoline rose, reversing an earlier loss, as reports showed U.S. manufacturing expanded in February and consumer confidence climbed, indicating demand may strengthen.

Canadian Heavy Crude Weakens as Spring Refinery Turnarounds Near

Canadian heavy crude oil weakened to the lowest discount in three weeks against futures as pending maintenance at Midwestern refineries was expected to cut into demand.


Iran to Start Liquid Gas Plant on Kharg in 2014, Times Says

Iran plans to complete a 1.2 billion euro ($1.6 billion) natural gas liquid production plant on Kharg island by March 2014, the Tehran Times newspaper reported.

Taiwan’s CPC Offers to Sell April-Loading Gasoline Cargo (1)

CPC Corp., Taiwan’s state-owned oil refiner, is offering to sell 30,000 metric tons of gasoline for second-half April loading, according to a tender document obtained by Bloomberg News.

Oil Product Shipping Costs to Japan Are Unchanged

The cost of shipping a gallon of gasoline, jet fuel or other so-called clean petroleum products from the Middle East to Japan was unchanged at 10.14 U.S. cents yesterday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The cost is based on a cargo of 55,000 metric tons.


CNPC to Spend $2.4 Billion on Upgrades to Produce Cleaner Fuel

China National Petroleum Corp., the nation’s biggest energy company, will spend 15 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) to upgrade the quality of fuel it refines, General Manager Zhou Jiping said.

Dow Chemical Compensation Awaits Kuwaiti Government Directive

Petrochemical Industries Co. said it’s waiting for a directive from Kuwait’s government on compensation to Dow Chemical Co. after the U.S. company said it expected to receive $2.5 billion for a canceled joint venture.

Cnooc Said to Cede Operating Control of Nexen’s U.S. Gulf Assets

Cnooc Ltd., China’s largest offshore oil and natural gas producer, was barred from controlling Gulf of Mexico oilfields under U.S. terms for its $15.1 billion takeover of Nexen Inc., people familiar with the matter said.

Libya Halts Italy Gas Exports, Oil Output After Clashes in West

Libya ceased natural-gas exports to Italy and oil production remained halted armed clashes yesterday in the North African country’s western town of Zawara, company and government officials said.

MISC Jumps as EPF Seeks Higher Buyout Offer: Kuala Lumpur Mover

MISC Bhd., the world’s second- largest liquefied natural gas shipper, gained the most in a month in Kuala Lumpur after its biggest minority shareholder said it wants Petroliam Nasional Bhd. to raise its buyout price.

Mexico’s Pena Nieto Gets Nod From Party to End Pemex Monopoly

Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto won support from his party to advance with his growth plan that includes ending a 75- year-old state monopoly on the oil industry.

U.K. Needs Energy Plan B Should New Nuclear Fail, Lawmakers Say

The U.K. government, planning to close almost all nuclear power stations within 10 years, needs a “plan B” in case new reactors aren’t built on time, according to a cross-party panel of lawmakers.

BP Spill Judge to Hear From Rig Explosion Survivor This Week

The judge presiding over the trial of BP Plc for the Macondo well disaster is set to hear from a survivor of the fatal rig explosion that sent millions of gallons of oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, according to a witness list prepared for the case.

Investors Least Bullish in Four Years Pulling Funds: Commodities

Investors cut wagers on a rally for commodities to the lowest in almost four years and pulled a record $4.23 billion from funds last week as prices erased this year’s gain on a slowdown for manufacturing in China.

China Qinhuangdao Coal Price Unchanged at 620-630 Yuan/Ton

Price of China benchmark power- station coal with energy value of 5,500 kilocalories/kilogram unchanged from a week earlier as of yesterday, according to data today from China Coal Transport and Distribution Association.


Asian Stocks Fall on China Property Declines; Yen, JGBs Advance

Asian stocks fell as China property companies slumped after the government ordered measures to cool prices. The yen strengthened against all its major peers, while Japanese and Indian bonds gained.

Yen Rallies as Italy Rekindles Debt Crisis Concern; Aussie Drops

The yen strengthened against all of its 16 major peers as signs Europe’s debt crisis is deepening boosted demand for haven assets.

Currency War Turns Stimulus War as Brazil Surrenders: Currencies

The currency wars declared by Brazilian Finance Minister Guido Mantega are proving more a battle to salvage economic growth than a spiral of competitive devaluations.

Asian Stocks Drop on China Property Curbs; Nikkei 225 Pares Gain

Asian stocks dropped, with the regional benchmark index heading for its second day of decline, after China tightened mortgage rules to cool the property market. Japanese shares pared gains.

Short Sales Fall 53% With U.S. Bull Market Starting Fifth Year

Investors reduced bearish stock bets to the lowest level since at least 2007 as the bull market in American equities begins its fifth year.

Indonesian Palm Reserves Seen Declining by Bangun on Demand (2)

Palm oil inventories in Indonesia, the world’s largest producer, may drop 8 percent this year as a significant increase in demand outstrips record supplies, according to Derom Bangun, chairman of the nation’s palm board. Prices rallied, snapping eight days of losses.

Gold Snaps Three-Day Decline as Data Signals Extended Stimulus

Gold rebounded from a one-week low on speculation that stimulus by central banks around the world will be maintained as economic data signaled the global recovery may be losing momentum. Silver advanced for a second day.

Obama Rings Up Lawmakers Searching for Deal on Budget Cuts (1)

President Barack Obama has begun contacting Republican and Democratic senators in search of a budget compromise even as each party blamed the other for across-the-board cuts in government spending.

Euro Leaders Demand Austerity as Italy Edges Closer to New Vote

European leaders demanded that euro members press on with budget cuts to end the debt crisis as Italy edged closer to a new election after an anti-austerity vote last week resulted in political deadlock.


Beckham to Serve as Global Ambassador for Chinese Soccer (1)

David Beckham will help promote soccer in China by taking a role as a global ambassador for the game in the world’s most populous country.

Bayern Munich Secures 10th Straight Win; Atletico Draws in Spain

Bayern Munich extended its winning run to 10 matches to maintain a 17-point advantage atop German soccer’s Bundesliga. Atletico Madrid missed a chance to cut Barcelona’s lead in Spain down to single figures.

James Strong, Former Qantas CEO, Kathmandu Chairman, Dies (1)

James Strong, the former chief executive officer of Australia’s biggest carrier Qantas Airways Ltd. and former chairman of the country’s largest retailer Woolworths Ltd., died yesterday at age 68 in Sydney.


Last Chg %Chg Exch Contract

---- ---- ---- ---- -------- WTI Crude ($/Bbl) 90.34 -0.34 -0.4 Nymex April Brent Crude ($/Bbl) 110.31 -0.09 -0.1 Ice April Gasoil ($/Ton) 925.00 +2.50 +0.3 Ice April Gasoline (c/Gal) 311.95 -0.91 -0.3 Nymex April Natural gas ($/MMBtu) 3.43 -0.02 -0.6 Nymex April Dated Brent ($/Bbl) 109.89 -0.37 -0.3 OTC 21 Days Heating Oil 292.76 -0.25 -0.1 Nymex April Other markets:

Last %Chg

----- ----- Dollar Index 82.37 +0.1 Gold ($/Oz) 1,572.30 -0.4 MSCI World Index 1,401.24 -- Prices as of 6 a.m. GMT

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Alexander Kwiatkowski in Singapore at

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