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.
PLATTS - NYMEX February natural gas futures extended gains overnight in the US leading up to Tuesday's open, on the back of current and midrange weather support. At 7:20 am ET (1220 GMT) the contract was gripping the upside at $2.990/MMBtu, up 3.7 cents on the session.
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 - Chinese imports of LNG in 2017 totaled 37.89 million mt, up 48.4% year on year, while imports by South Korea totaled 36.51 million mt, up 10.81% year on year.
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.
BLOOMBERG - Norway’s oil production has been halved since a 2000 peak. While natural-gas output has surged, total production is forecast to fall again in the middle of the next decade. A flurry of investment decisions at the end of last year hides a painful truth: after Statoil’s $6 billion Johan Castberg oil field starts production in the Barents in 2022, the project pipeline is scant.
U.S. Rig Count is down 2 rigs from last week to 929, with oil rigs unchanged at 747, gas rigs down 2 to 182, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Canada Rig Count is down 74 rigs from last week to 136, with oil rigs down 58 to 62 and gas rigs down 16 to 74.
INVESTOPEDIA - The Koch brothers have become well-known for their libertarian and conservative politics, and are often portrayed as significant personalities that impact elections and government decisions.
PETROBRAS - Net Income of R$ 5,031 million in 9M-2017, compared to a loss of R$ 17,334 million in 9M-2016.