Oil is on the rise in early morning trade Wednesday, on
expectations that crude inventories are falling amid a steady
The American Petroleum Institute reported late afternoon Tuesday
that weekly gasoline inventories fell 960,000 barrels to 223.2
million. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy will be releasing its
latest weekly data at 1030 ET, and analysts expect gasoline
inventories to have fallen by 1.85 million barrels from 224.6
million the week before, according to Bloomberg News.
At 0750 ET, Brent crude is up 0.8% at $81.92 a barrel, while
light sweet crude is 0.6% higher at $82.87, and natural gas is up
1.9% at $4.05 a million British thermal units.
There is expectation too that the United States will be
exploring for oil closer to home in coming years. The White House
wants to open offshore areas along the Atlantic coastline, the
eastern Gulf of Mexico, and the north coast of Alaska to oil and
natural gas drilling, according to the New York Times. If approved,
it would end the moratorium on oil exploration along the East Coast
from Delaware to Florida. An official announcement by President
Obama is expected later in the morning.
In China, oil explorer CNOOC Ltd (883) reported 2009 profits
falling below analysts' expectations as oil prices dropped. The
Beijing-based group reported net income falling 34% to about $4.3
billion as oil prices in February 2009 fell 77% from their 2008
As for Danish oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk (MAERSKb), it is
buying a 20% stake in an oil exploration license from Devon Energy
) as Maersk looks to expand its outreach in Brazil. Maersk now has
five licenses offshore of Brazil. Earlier this month, BP plc (
) had paid Devon a total of $7 billion for assets in Brazil as well
as the Gulf of Mexico and Azerbaijan.
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