Oil Lower as Dollar Gains, India Seen Buying Up Overseas Energy Assets

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Oil is on the decline in early morning trade Thursday, on the back of a stronger greenback, and a dearth of fresh ingredients to give crude a further upward momentum.

For the past two days, oil had been on a steady rise as OPEC announced Wednesday that its 12 member nations would keep their output quota unchanged. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries also made clear it was content with oil around $80 a barrel to balance profits with global growth.

At 0750 ET, Brent crude is down 0.9% at $81.19 a barrel, while light sweet crude is 0.8% lower at $82.25 a barrel, and natural gas is down 0.8% at $4.27 a million British thermal units.

On the corporate front, India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. ( ONGC ) together with Oil India Ltd. have been ordered by the government to buy more overseas energy assets. The country is directly challenging China to acquire more energy assets abroad, and is expected to establish a sovereign wealth fund to finance India's ambitions.

In Russia, the chairman of LUKOIL ( LKOH ) said the oil giant will consider whether or not to buy back some of its shares in April. Valery Graifer said that a buyback would make sense if ConocoPhilips ( COP ) decides to sell part of its stake. There is growing speculation that Conoco may reduce its shareholding in LUKOIL by half over the next three years, and Conoco currently has a 20% stake in the Russian group.

Meanwhile, Tesoro Corp. ( TSO ) has closed down several units at its refinery in Anacortes, Washington as boilers have failed to produce the steam needed to keep operations going. No further details have been provided by the company.



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

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This article appears in: Investing , Commodities

Referenced Stocks: COP , LKOH , ONGC , TSO

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