OIL PRICES: STILL ABOVE $54
REUTERS - oil prices steadied on Wednesday as investors waited to see if OPEC and Russia would deliver promised production cuts designed to end a supply overhang that has weighed on the market for more than two years.
North Sea Brent crude oil LCOc1 was up 10 cents a barrel at $54.03 by 0950 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was up 15 cents at $51.08 a barrel.
Oil prices surged as much as 19 percent after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia announced last week that they would cut production next year in an effort to prop up markets.
But doubts have emerged over whether the planned cuts will be big enough to rebalance the market.
Since the deal was announced, both OPEC and Russia have reported record production and output elsewhere is also resilient.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Tuesday it expected domestic crude oil production for 2016 and 2017 to fall by less than previously expected.
"Investors are torn between hopes that producers will cut enough production to balance supply and demand, and fears that they won't," said Tamas Varga, senior analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers meet this weekend in Vienna to agree details of the output cut, which targets an overall reduction of around 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
OPEC member Nigeria, exempt from the cuts, said on Wednesday it hoped to boost its oil production to 2.1 million bpd in January, up from 1.9 million bpd now.
"We will see whether belief in the (OPEC production) deal will hold," said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt. "There is a big discrepancy right now between expectations, perception and reality."
Despite widespread scepticism, many analysts say 2017 will likely see a more balanced oil market.
"Oil markets are on track to tighten over 2017, which will be accelerated by OPEC's decision to reduce production alongside non-OPEC countries," said BMI Research. "If effectively implemented, we expect the global oil market will return to balance in Q1 2017."
Oil production has been outpacing consumption by 1 to 2 million barrels per day since late 2014.
"The average annual oil price will be higher in 2017 than in 2016, with Brent at $55 per barrel for the year," BMI Research said. The average 2016 Brent price has so far been $44.47 per barrel.
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WNA - Apart from adding capacity, utilisation of existing plants has improved markedly since 2000. In the 1990s capacity factors averaged around 60%, but they have steadily improved since and in 2010, 2011 and 2014 were above 81%. Balakovo was the best plant in 2011 with 92.5%, and again in 2014 with 85.1%.
WNA - India has a flourishing and largely indigenous nuclear power programme and expects to have 14.6 GWe nuclear capacity on line by 2024 and 63 GWe by 2032. It aims to supply 25% of electricity from nuclear power by 2050.
WNA - Mainland China has 38 nuclear power reactors in operation, about 20 under construction, and more about to start construction. The reactors under construction include some of the world's most advanced, to give a 70% increase of nuclear capacity to 58 GWe by 2020-21. Plans are for up to 150 GWe by 2030, and much more by 2050.
PLATTS - "The domestic uranium mining industry needs US government assistance to survive the foreign onslaught -- particularly from Russia and Kazakhstan -- that has undermined the US uranium industry while new players -- particularly China -- will soon make the situation worse," Energy Fuels and Ur-Energy said in a petition they jointly filed with the department.