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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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.