OIL FUTURES LOWER
The New York Mercantile Exchange December crude oil contract fell 58¢ on Oct. 31, closing at $80.54/bbl. The January 2015 contract fell 48¢ to $80.42/bbl.
The natural gas contract for December gained 4.6¢ to a rounded $3.87/MMbtu. The cash gas price at Henry Hub, La., was $3.80/MMbtu, up 6¢.
Heating oil for November delivery edged up slightly to a rounded $2.52/gal. Reformulated gasoline stock for oxygenate blending for November delivery lost 2.63¢ to a rounded $2.17/gal.
The December ICE contract for Brent crude oil was down 38¢ to $85.86/bbl. The January 2015 contract fell 36¢ to $86.34/bbl. The ICE gas oil contract for November declined $4.75, settling at $741.75/tonne.
The average price for OPEC's basket of 12 benchmark crudes was $81.97/bbl on Oct. 31, losing 82¢.
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BP and its partners in Azerbaijan's giant ACG oil production complex agreed Thursday to extend the production sharing contract by 25 years to 2049 and to increase the stake of state-owned SOCAR, reducing the size of their own shares.
The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $123.1 billion (preliminary) in the second quarter of 2017 from $113.5 billion (revised) in the first quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit increased to 2.6 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) from 2.4 percent in the first quarter.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading up 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $50.30 by 0852 GMT, near the three-month high of $50.50 it reached last Thursday. Brent crude futures LCOc1, the benchmark for oil prices outside the United States, were at $55.91 a barrel, up 29 cents, and also not far from the near five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday.
“The principal risk regarding Russian and Chinese activities in Venezuela in the near term is that they will exploit the unfolding crisis, including the effect of US sanctions, to deepen their control over Venezuela’s resources, and their [financial] leverage over the country as an anti-US political and military partner,” observed R. Evan Ellis, a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Americas Program.