U.S. OIL INVENTORIES DOWN
BLOOMBERG - Oil extended gains from the highest close in more than three years as U.S. industry data signaled crude stockpiles dropped an eighth week.
Futures climbed as much as 0.9 percent in New York after rising 2.5 percent the previous two sessions. Inventories fell by 11.2 million barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute was said to report on Tuesday. If the draw is replicated in Energy Information Administration data Wednesday, it will be the biggest decline for this time of the year since 1999.
Oil is continuing its advance after a second annual gain as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies trim supply to drain a global glut. The OPEC-led group is facing the challenge of rising U.S. crude output, which is forecast by the EIA to expand above 10 million barrels a day as soon as next month and top 11 million in November 2019.
"There are signs of another good drop in stockpiles and the market seems to believe that we're going to see inventory tightening at a fairly decent rate," said Ric Spooner, a Sydney-based analyst at CMC Markets. "The positive trend remains in place."
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery rose as much as 57 cents to $63.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $63.43 at 7:52 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 16 percent above the 100-day average. Prices advanced $1.23 to $62.96 on Tuesday, the highest close since December 2014.
Brent for March settlement climbed as much as 44 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $69.26 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after advancing 1.5 percent on Tuesday to the highest since December 2014. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of $5.82 to March WTI.
U.S. crude inventories probably dropped by 3.75 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before the EIA report. Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the nation's biggest oil-storage hub, probably slid by 1.5 million barrels, an estimate compiled by Bloomberg shows.
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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.