OIL PRICES: ABOVE $46
NASDAQ wrote, crude prices headed higher in early Asia trade Thursday buoyed by bargain-hunting, but the recent strong build in U.S. oil product inventories and planned resumption of oil exports by Libya and Nigeria are likely to limit the rise.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in October traded at $43.72 a barrel at 0145 GMT, up $0.14 in the Globex electronic session. November Brent crude on London's ICE Futures exchange rose $0.27 to $46.12 a barrel.
"That was a pretty negative report," said Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA Inc.
Oil prices have wavered between $40 and $50 a barrel for months on continued uncertainty about how long the global glut of crude is set to persist. Production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries remains high and inventories in the U.S. and elsewhere are near record levels.
Adding to the bearishness is the expected return of exports by Libya and Nigeria, whose oil sales were stifled in recent months due to a string of attacks by insurgent groups. An increase in exports by these two countries would be a major oil-market development ahead of talks in Algeria at the end of this month among OPEC members to cap output.
On Wednesday, officials in Tripoli announced they plan to load the first crude-oil cargo in nearly two years from a major port, Ras Lanuf.
"Our updated base case scenario has overall OPEC production steady at 33.3 million barrels a day, but without assuming a recovery in Libya and Nigeria that could put another million barrels per day on the market in the months ahead," said Tim Evans, a Citi Futures analyst in a note.
"We're not sure other producers are prepared to offset that much of an increase."
Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for October--the benchmark gasoline contract--rose 88 points to $1.3703 a gallon, while October diesel traded at $1.3900, 83 points higher.
ICE gasoil for October changed hands at $407.50 a metric ton, down $1.50 from Wednesday's settlement.
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U.S. EIA - Venezuela holds the largest oil reserves in the world, in large part because of the heavy oil reserves in the Orinoco Oil Basin. In addition to oil reserves, Venezuela has sizeable natural gas reserves, although the development of natural gas lags significantly behind that of oil. However, in the wake of political and economic instability in the country, crude oil production has dramatically decreased, reaching a multi-decades low in mid-2018.
U.S. BEA - The U.S. current-account deficit increased to $124.1 billion (preliminary) in the first quarter of 2018 from $116.1 billion (revised) in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to statistics released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). The deficit was 2.5 percent of current-dollar gross domestic product (GDP) in the first quarter, up from 2.4 percent in the fourth quarter.
WNN - There are 126 operational power reactors in 14 EU Member States, providing more than one-quarter of the bloc's total electricity production. In its Communication on the Nuclear Illustrative Program (PINC) published last year, the European Commission expects nuclear to maintain its significant role in Europe's energy mix up to 2050. This would require investment of some EUR40-50 billion (USD46-58 billion) in nuclear LTO by 2050.
REUTERS - Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was up 50 cents at $75.58 a barrel by 0835 GMT. U.S. light crude CLc1 was 50 cents higher at $65.57.