OIL PRICE: STILL ABOVE $54
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Oil prices regained some ground on Thursday after steep losses the previous day, as Kuwait said it expected an OPEC-led effort to cut supplies would be extended beyond the middle of the year.
Brent crude futures were at $53.34 per barrel at 0715 GMT (3:15 a.m. ET), up 41 cents, or 0.77 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 32 cents, or 0.63 percent, to $50.76 a barrel.
Traders said that the gains followed comments by OPEC-members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait that an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year would be extended beyond June.
A reduction in commercial U.S. crude stocks, which fell by 1 million barrels last week to 532.34 million barrels, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), also supported prices, traders said.
The price increases on Thursday followed a more than 3.5 percent drop in both crude benchmarks during the previous session after the EIA reported surging gasoline inventories as well as another rise in U.S. crude oil production to 9.25 million barrels per day (bpd), up almost 10 percent since mid-2016.
U.S. gasoline stocks posted a counter-seasonal build of 1.5 million barrels, because of rising refining activity.
Traders said that the rising U.S. crude production posed a concern that the oil supply overhang would continue, while the jump in gasoline stocks implied a stutter in demand.
"The fact that gasoline stocks rose... worried traders that demand is not as strong as many thought," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
Overall, global fuel markets remain bloated, and Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih was quoted on Thursday in an interview with the Saudi-owned al-Hayat newspaper that supplies remained elevated in part because traders were selling supplies out of tanker storage.
In China, an ongoing fuel supply overhang is persisting as there were signs that Chinese refiners were using record crude oil imports to produce more fuel like gasoline and diesel than the country can absorb.
China's March gasoline output rose 2.5 percent year on year to 11.24 million tonnes, the highest level since at least April 2014, data from China's National Bureau of Statistics showed on Wednesday, adding fuel into an Asian market that is already well supplied.
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LUKOIL - The plan is based on the conservative $50 per barrel oil price scenario. Sustainable hydrocarbon production growth is planned in the Upstream business segment along with the growth in the share of high-margin projects in the overall production. In the Downstream business segment, the focus is on the improvement of operating efficiency and selective investment projects targeted at the enhancement of product slate.
BP - BP will acquire on completion a 43% equity share in Lightsource for a total consideration of $200 million, paid over three years. The great majority of this investment will fund Lightsource’s worldwide growth pipeline. The company will be renamed Lightsource BP and BP will have two seats on the board of directors.
REUTERS - Brent crude was up 69 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $64.03 a barrel by 0743 GMT. It had settled down $1.35, or 2.1 percent, on Tuesday on a wave of profit-taking after news of a key North Sea pipeline shutdown helped send the global benchmark above $65 for the first time since mid-2015. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 45 cents, or 0.8 percent, at $57.59 a barrel.
ROSATOM - On December 10, 2017, the construction start ceremony took place at the Akkuyu NPP site under a limited construction licence issued by the Turkish Atomic Energy Agency (TAEK). Director General of the ROSATOM Alexey Likhachev, and First Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources of the Turkish Republic, Fatih Donmez, took part in the ceremony.