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. (
) 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
In Russia, the chairman of LUKOIL (
) 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 (
) 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
Meanwhile, Tesoro Corp. (
) 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
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