SAUDIS OIL TO JAPAN UP 19.3%
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.
The Saudi crude imports in November were also up 12.5% from the same period a year earlier on a barrel-per-day basis.
METI data is released in kiloliters, which S&P Global Platts converts into b/d.
Japan's crude imports from key Middle Eastern producers including Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait rose in November as various Northeast Asian end-users had switched focus away from North and Central American supply due to the onslaught of Hurricane Harvey in the late third quarter.
A string of loading schedule delays for US and Mexican crudes during August and September had encouraged many Japanese, South Korean and Chinese refining companies to concentrate their crude procurement for November delivery in the Persian Gulf market, Asian trade sources have said.
Japan's crude imports from the US fell almost 10% from October to 34,690 b/d, while the country's intake from Mexico in November tumbled 82.9% month on month to average 16,650 b/d.
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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.