REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.50 a barrel at 1017 GMT, up 13 cents from their last close, though still not far off the $60.74 reached on the previous day that was the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $66.74 a barrel, up 17 cents but still trailing Tuesday’s high of $67.29 that was the most since May 2015.
PLATTS - NYMEX February natural gas futures extended gains overnight in the US leading up to Tuesday's open, on the back of current and midrange weather support. At 7:20 am ET (1220 GMT) the contract was gripping the upside at $2.990/MMBtu, up 3.7 cents on the session.
BLOOMBERG - After a glut sparked the biggest price crash in a generation and starved Russia of oil revenues, the nation sought to boost market share in the world’s top importer. It’s now supplanted Saudi Arabia as the top exporter to China, even as the two producers lead efforts to shrink the global oversupply by curbing output. A pipeline that transports crude from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean system has helped its mission to increase volumes.
PLATTS - Chinese imports of LNG in 2017 totaled 37.89 million mt, up 48.4% year on year, while imports by South Korea totaled 36.51 million mt, up 10.81% year on year.
PLATTS - Japan's crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 19.3% month on month to an average of 1.39 million b/d in November, preliminary data released Thursday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed.
BLOOMBERG - Norway’s oil production has been halved since a 2000 peak. While natural-gas output has surged, total production is forecast to fall again in the middle of the next decade. A flurry of investment decisions at the end of last year hides a painful truth: after Statoil’s $6 billion Johan Castberg oil field starts production in the Barents in 2022, the project pipeline is scant.
U.S. Rig Count is down 2 rigs from last week to 929, with oil rigs unchanged at 747, gas rigs down 2 to 182, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Canada Rig Count is down 74 rigs from last week to 136, with oil rigs down 58 to 62 and gas rigs down 16 to 74.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.30 a barrel at 0504 GMT, up 46 cents or 0.8 percent from their last close, the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures - the international benchmark - were also up, rising 45 cents or 0.7 percent to $66.61 a barrel. Brent broke through $67 earlier this week for the first time since May 2015.
PLATTS - After dropping 2.4 cents Tuesday to settle at $2.643/MMBtu, NYMEX January natural gas futures dipped then rallied ahead of Wednesday's open and the contract's expiry at the close of business, as traders mulled the likely impact on demand from weather outlooks.
PLATTS - The issuance of a combined 2.8 million b/d cap on formerly exempt members Libya and Nigeria at the organization's November 30 meeting means that OPEC as a whole now has a notional collective ceiling of 32.74 million b/d, when all the members' quotas are added up. From January-November, compliance was 108% according to S&P Global Platts, one of the six secondary sources used by the organization to monitor output.