SAUDIS - RUSSIA AGREEMENT
FT - Crude producers led by Saudi Arabia and Russia will aim to draft an agreement to formalise their partnership for oil market co-operation by the end of 2018, the UAE's energy minister said.
Opec countries and allies outside of the cartel joined forces in 2017 to curb production and bolster the oil market after a three-year downturn. The 24 nations have pledged to reduce output by 1.8m barrels a day.
Oil officials have said in recent months they sought to institutionalise this alliance beyond the end of 2018 when the current cuts deal expires, but they have not given further details.
Suhail al-Mazrouei, Opec president, told the local National newspaper on Thursday that the charter for the broader group is currently "a work in progress".
He did not elaborate on the nature of the partnership, its purpose or its obligations, but its creation underlines the severity of the recent price crash on oil-rich economies and the need to prevent further falls.
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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.