OGJ - US President Donald Trump fired Rex W. Tillerson as secretary of State after barely more than 13 months on the job in a 5:45 a.m. tweet on Mar. 13 and said he intends to name Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo as his successor.
Tillerson reportedly had not been happy recently as the country's top diplomat, and critics quickly called him ineffective in response to his being discharged. A few also conceded that he received little support or encouragement from the White House.
Tillerson accepted Trump's offer to lead and implement US foreign policy after a 41-year career that began as a petroleum engineer at Exxon Co. USA in 1975 and concluded on his retirement as ExxonMobil Corp.'s chief executive in 2016.
When Tillerson was nominated, time that he spent in Russia while he was with ExxonMobil was considered by some an asset and others a liability. Coincidentally, one of his last statements as secretary was on Mar. 12 after speaking with British Foreign Sec. Boris Johnson following a nerve gas attack there a week earlier for which Russia was believed responsible.
"There is never a justification for this type of attack—the attempted murder of a private citizen on the soil of a sovereign nation—and we are outraged that Russia appears to have again engaged in such behavior," Tillerson said. "From Ukraine to Syria—and now the UK—Russia continues to be an irresponsible force of instability in the world, acting with open disregard for the sovereignty of other states and the life of their citizens. We agree that those responsible—both those who committed the crime and those who ordered it—must face appropriately serious consequences."
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BLOOMBERG - While Europe as a whole gets more than a third of its gas from Russia, that share is lower in the U.K., which receives the bulk of its fuel from North Sea fields and Norway. Still, Moscow-based Gazprom PJSC was the second-biggest supplier to major industrial consumers in the U.K. last year, according to Britain’s energy regulator Ofgem.
FT - of the six LNG tankers that have made deliveries into the UK so far in 2018 three have carried cargoes originally from Russia, leading to questions about whether Moscow was gaining a foothold in the UK gas market after starting up the Yamal LNG facility in Siberia late last year.
REUTERS - So far this year, two Yamal cargoes unloaded at British terminals for domestic consumption, accounting for about a third of Britain’s 2018 LNG imports after typical supplier Qatar pre-sold the bulk of its winter output to Asia last year.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.77 a barrel at 0753 GMT, up 6 cents, or 0.1 percent, from their previous settlement. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $64.62 per barrel, down just 2 cents from their last close.