OIL PRICES: OVER $52
BLOOMBERG - Oil extended gains above $49 a barrel as U.S. government data showed an unexpected fall in crude stockpiles, the first decline this year.
Futures rose as much as 1.6 percent in New York after advancing 2.4 percent on Wednesday, snapping a seven-session decline. Crude stockpiles dropped by 237,000 barrels last week, according to an Energy Information Administration report. A Bloomberg survey had forecast a 10th weekly expansion. Iraq plans to increase output to 5 million barrels a day by the end of 2017, Oil Minister Jabbar Al-Luaibi said at a news conference in the southern city of Basra.
Oil last week broke below $50 a barrel for the first time since December as rising U.S. supply countered output reductions by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and other nations. While an OPEC report on Tuesday showed Saudi Arabia's production climbed back above 10 million barrels a day in February, it still remains below a ceiling set under the six-month cut deal that started on Jan. 1.
"Oil bulls will have breathed a collective sigh of relief yesterday as the stubborn climb of U.S. crude stockpiles into record territory came to an unexpected halt," said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd. in London.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery rose as much as 76 cents to $49.62 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $49.41 at 10:08 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was in line with the 100-day average. Prices climbed $1.14 to close at $48.86 on Wednesday after falling almost 11 percent the previous seven sessions.
Brent for May settlement advanced as much as 84 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $52.65 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 89 cents to $51.81 on Wednesday. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of $2.48 to May WTI.
U.S. crude inventories fell from the highest level in more than three decades to 528.2 million barrels, the EIA said in a report on Wednesday. Oil production rose for a fourth week to 9.1 million barrels a day.
Iraq exported 3.87 million barrels a day from its southern and northern shipment hubs in February, Oil Ministry spokesman Asim Jihad said in an emailed statement.
China's in talks with Saudi Arabia for its sovereign wealth fund and largest energy company to invest in the initial public offering of the Middle East nation's state oil producer, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
Oil markets are still struggling to clear a surge in supply from OPEC at the end of last year, according to an International Energy Agency report on Wednesday.
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AOG - The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is to invest around $22bn on new energy projects across the next five years, with the renewables sector accounting for an increasing share of electricity generation, according to CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.
TRANSCANADA - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada or the Company) announced net income attributable to common shares for fourth quarter 2017 of $861 million or $0.98 per share compared to a net loss of $358 million or $0.43 per share for the same period in 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, net income attributable to common shares was $3.0 billion or $3.44 per share compared to net income of $124 million or $0.16 per share in 2016.
ROSATOM - February 13, 2018, Moscow. – ROSATOM and the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations of the Republic of Congo today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy.
FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January following four consecutive monthly increases. Manufacturing production was unchanged in January. Mining output fell 1.0 percent, with all of its major component industries recording declines, while the index for utilities moved up 0.6 percent. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.7 percent higher in January than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 0.2 percentage point in January to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.