CHINA & KAZAKHSTAN AGREE: $10 BLN
China is expected to sign 30 cooperative agreements worth $10 billion with Kazakhstan as Premier Li Keqiang begins his first official visit to the country, the official Xinhua news agency said on Sunday.
Xinhua did not give details, but quoted Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping as highlighting a joint-venture logistics base and urging interconnectivity with highways, railways, ports, air routes, oil and gas pipelines.
"The Sino-Kazakh cooperation is developing rapidly. The volume of trade between the two countries is increasing annually by 20 percent," Xinhua quoted Li as saying in an article.
Kazakhstan has become China's second largest trade partner in the Commonwealth of the Independent States, while China is the second largest trade partner and the largest export market of Kazakhstan, Li was quoted as saying.
Li will also visit Serbia and Thailand, but some of the most touchy topics he could encounter are off the agenda, including the fate of Muslims from western China who have fled to Southeast Asia.
Li's trip, from Dec. 14 to 20, also takes in summits with Eastern European, Central Asian and Southeast Asian leaders.
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GAZPROM - The parties discussed relevant issues related to bilateral cooperation, including the Baltic LNG project. Emphasis was placed on the priority measures aimed at developing a joint design concept (pre-FEED).
BHGE - U.S. Rig Count is up 11 rigs from last week to 1,063, with oil rigs up 8 to 869, gas rigs up 4 to 193, and miscellaneous rigs down 1 to 1. Canada Rig Count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195, with oil rigs up 8 to 127 and gas rigs up 5 to 68.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures had risen $1.02 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $81.28 a barrel by 0637 GMT. The contract dropped 3.4 percent on Thursday following sharp falls in equity markets and indications that supply concerns have been overblown. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 80 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $71.77 a barrel, after a 3 percent fall in the previous session. WTI is on track for a 3.5 percent drop this week.
EIA - Brent crude oil spot prices averaged $79 per barrel (b) in September, up $6/b from August. EIA expects Brent spot prices will average $74/b in 2018 and $75/b in 2019. EIA expects West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil prices will average about $6/b lower than Brent prices in 2018 and in 2019.