PLATTS - China's crude oil imports from Iraq in November surged 47.2% on year and 58.8% on month to hit a record high of 4.21 million mt or an average 1.03 million b/d, making the Persian Gulf producer its third-largest supplier, data from China's General Administration of Customs showed.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $62.16 a barrel at 0752 GMT, up 53 cents, or 0.9 percent, from their last close. They touched $62.21 shortly before, their highest level since May 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $68.23 a barrel, up 39 cents, or 0.9 percent, after revisiting a May 2015 high of $68.27 shortly before.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $60.50 a barrel at 1017 GMT, up 13 cents from their last close, though still not far off the $60.74 reached on the previous day that was the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures LCOc1 - the international benchmark for oil prices - were at $66.74 a barrel, up 17 cents but still trailing Tuesday’s high of $67.29 that was the most since May 2015.
BLOOMBERG - After a glut sparked the biggest price crash in a generation and starved Russia of oil revenues, the nation sought to boost market share in the world’s top importer. It’s now supplanted Saudi Arabia as the top exporter to China, even as the two producers lead efforts to shrink the global oversupply by curbing output. A pipeline that transports crude from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean system has helped its mission to increase volumes.
PLATTS - Japan's crude oil imports from Saudi Arabia rose 19.3% month on month to an average of 1.39 million b/d in November, preliminary data released Thursday by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry showed.
PLATTS - Federal crude oil exports from Iraq's southern Persian Gulf terminals edged up in December to reach a new record high, averaging 3.535 million b/d, up 33,000 b/d from in November, the latest data from the oil ministry showed.
REUTERS - U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $60.30 a barrel at 0504 GMT, up 46 cents or 0.8 percent from their last close, the highest since June 2015. Brent crude futures - the international benchmark - were also up, rising 45 cents or 0.7 percent to $66.61 a barrel. Brent broke through $67 earlier this week for the first time since May 2015.
PLATTS - The issuance of a combined 2.8 million b/d cap on formerly exempt members Libya and Nigeria at the organization's November 30 meeting means that OPEC as a whole now has a notional collective ceiling of 32.74 million b/d, when all the members' quotas are added up. From January-November, compliance was 108% according to S&P Global Platts, one of the six secondary sources used by the organization to monitor output.
BLOOMBERG - Brent for February settlement lost 20 cents to $66.82 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices climbed $1.77, or 2.7 percent, to $67.02 a barrel Tuesday, the highest close since May 2015. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $6.95 to WTI.
ROSNEFT - Rosneft has spudded the Maria-1 exploration well offshore in the Black Sea. Forecasted oil in place for Zapadno-Chernomorskaya licence area is estimated to exceed 570 million tons.