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Dec 9, 2014

Famed oil trader Phibro nears end of a long, winding road

NEW YORK, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Phibro, the storied energy
trading firm run by famed oil investor Andrew Hall, is winding
down in its current form, laying off some U.S. employees and
pursuing a sale of some overseas operations, sources said on
Tuesday.

The divestment by Occidental Corp, which bought
Westport, Connecticut-based Phibro from Citigroup Inc five
years ago, will allow Hall to focus more squarely on his $3
billion Astenbeck hedge fund, one of the world’s largest
oil-focused funds.

Nov 4, 2014

Saudi trip to Latam evokes 1990s oil troika with a new rival: U.S.

Nov 4 (Reuters) – Some 15 years ago, a troika of powerhouse
oil producers forged a secret pact to revive oil prices from a
crisis-inducing low of near $10 a barrel. In a series of private
meetings from Madrid to Cancun, ministers from Saudi Arabia,
Venezuela and Mexico set aside months of acrimony to hammer out
production cuts.

This week, Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi will make a rare
visit to the two other nations involved in that effort. But
veteran oil analysts see no sign of a new coalition in the
making, despite some parallels to the late 1990s – a structural
downturn in oil markets and talk of a price war among producers.

Oct 10, 2014

Oil prices headed lower despite Saudi curbs: PIRA’s Ross

NEW YORK (Reuters) – World oil prices are set to fall further, extending a months-long rout because Saudi Arabia is unlikely to make deep enough production cuts to erase a growing surplus, according to Gary Ross, chief executive of PIRA Energy Group.

Although there are faint signs of improving fundamentals in some physical crude oil markets, any uptick in prices ahead of OPEC’s Nov. 27 meeting will be short-lived. The cartel is struggling to rebalance a world market heading toward a 1 million to 1.5 million barrel per day (bpd) excess next year, he said.

Oct 10, 2014

In oil price war, Saudi’s biggest rival is next door

NEW YORK/SINGAPORE, Oct 10 (Reuters) – Kuwait, Saudi
Arabia’s traditional Gulf ally, is challenging its bigger
neighbour in an increasingly competitive battle for market share
as it sells oil to buyers in Asia at the widest discount to a
comparable Saudi grade in 10 years.

Kuwait’s price cut to Asia, and cuts by other Middle East
producers including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, have underscored
competition for oil sales to the region as a rout in global
benchmarks threatens the national budgets of some OPEC members.

Oct 9, 2014

Poll: Unmoved by oil export proponents, Americans still fear gasoline spike

By Jonathan Leff

(Reuters) – A year of increasingly vocal support for easing a decades-old ban on U.S. crude exports has failed to convince American voters that doing so would be a good idea, according to a new Reuters-IPSOS poll that highlights the political perils of opening the door to shale oil sales abroad.

Americans remain split 50-50 over whether drillers should be allowed to sell their crude abroad, just as they were in the first edition of the survey last November. The poll is the only ongoing effort to gauge public sentiment on the issue, which has become one of the year’s most pressing energy policy questions, particularly ahead of the November mid-term elections.

Oct 9, 2014

U.S. merchant refiners take oil trading back in-house

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Independent U.S. refiners are taking back control of their crude supplies just a few years after outsourcing trading to Wall Street banks and bigger companies, hoping to capture more profit from a global market in flux.

After the financial crisis of 2007-2009, a number of ailing U.S. refineries were sold to investors such as Carlyle Group and Delta Air Lines Inc, which lacked the credit agreements or oil trading expertise to efficiently supply their new plants. So they struck deals with the likes of Morgan Stanley and BP to find and purchase crude on their behalf.

Oct 9, 2014

Unmoved by oil export proponents, Americans still fear gasoline spike

Oct 9 (Reuters) – A year of increasingly vocal support for
easing a decades-old ban on U.S. crude exports has failed to
convince American voters that doing so would be a good idea,
according to a new Reuters-IPSOS poll that highlights the
political perils of opening the door to shale oil sales abroad.

Americans remain split 50-50 over whether drillers should be
allowed to sell their crude abroad, just as they were in the
first edition of the survey last November. The poll is the only
ongoing effort to gauge public sentiment on the issue, which has
become one of the year’s most pressing energy policy questions,
particularly ahead of the November mid-term elections.

Oct 6, 2014

As global oil futures tumble, U.S. cash crude traders ask: What glut?

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An unusual disconnect has emerged in the U.S. oil market, with headline futures slumping to levels below $90 a barrel even as traders in the physical crude market report surprisingly robust demand and strong pricing.

In New York and London, big funds and speculators have turned very bearish on prices due to signs of weakening demand in China and Europe, steady exports from Iraq and Libya and a rallying dollar.

Sep 30, 2014

Tanker with Alaskan crude bound for S.Korea as U.S. seeks new markets

NEW YORK/SEOUL, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The first U.S. export of
Alaskan crude to South Korea in more than a decade set sail at
the weekend, according to a company source and shipping data,
marking another milestone as booming shale oil output forces
domestic drillers to seek new customers.

The Suezmax Polar Discovery loaded at the Valdez terminal in
Alaska late last week and was due to arrive next week in Yeosu,
South Korea, according to shipping data available on Thomson
Reuters Eikon.

Aug 5, 2014

Arcadia, traders settle U.S. CFTC oil-rigging suit for $13 million

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Global oil trading house Arcadia and two well-known traders will pay $13 million and face an unusual three-year limit on trading physical U.S. benchmark crude to settle a landmark lawsuit over manipulating oil prices in 2008.

The settlement, disclosed in a filing with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday, concludes one of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s most ambitious crackdowns on gaming crude oil markets, launched in the wake of the 2008 surge in oil prices that sparked a political outcry.