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Oil Maintains Gain on Bigger-Than-Expected Supply Drop

Oil futures maintained gains after a U.S. government report showed a bigger-than-expected decline in inventories.
Supplies fell 7.43 million barrels to 357.1 million barrels last week, the Energy Department said today. Inventories were forecast to decline 4.95 million barrels, according to the median of 12 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey

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Cuba Says Latest Offshore Well Is Not Successful

Cuba’s hopes for energy independence suffered another blow on Monday when its state oil company said the island’s latest offshore oil well was not successful.

Cubapetroleo said the well drilled by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas in partnership with Russia’s Gazprom Neft found oil but in a geological formation so tightly compacted that oil and gas could not flow through it in “significant quantities.”

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Asian Oil Buyers Help Iran Stave Off The Worst, For Now

Asia’s major crude buyers are finding ways around tough U.S. and EU sanctions to maintain imports from Iran, suggesting that, for now, the worst may be over for the OPEC producer that is losing more than $100 million a day in oil export revenues.

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Oil Falls as China Export Growth Slows

Oil fell as China’s export growth slowed and the International Energy Agency cut demand forecasts in signs that the global economic recovery is slowing. Prices declined 0.5 percent as China’s customs bureau reported outbound shipments in July increased 1 percent from a year earlier after an 11 percent rise in June.

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OPEC Warns EU Low Oil Prices Threaten Future Supply Security

OPEC on Thursday warned the European Union that too-low oil prices could “break the momentum” of upstream investment and threaten future supply security, according to a joint statement issued after a regular ministerial meeting between the two sides in Brussels.

European energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger stressed in his opening address the negative impact of very high oil prices on the world economy and warned against reduced investment that could lead to supply bottlenecks in the future.

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Oil Rises For Second Day on Signs U.S. Economy is Recovering

Oil rose for a second day on signs the U.S. economy is recovering, easing concern that demand from the world’s biggest crude-consuming country will decline. Crude gained as much as 2 percent after Commerce Department data showed orders for durable goods climbed more than forecast in May. More Americans than estimated signed contracts to purchase previously owned homes, the National Association of Realtors reported.

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Falling Oil Prices Put Iran over U.S. Sanctions Barrel

For most of this year, the threat of tough U.S. sanctions on Iran, the world’s third-largest oil exporter, helped push crude oil prices higher and higher, adding a menacing headwind for struggling global economies. But in the past few weeks, a combination of higher output from Iran’s rival Saudi Arabia and economic troubles in China and Europe have pushed oil prices down 25 percent, putting the threat of sanctions back squarely on Iran.

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Are Gas Prices Impacted By Oil Import Levels?

Are gas prices impacted by the source of countries’ oil? The graphic below, from Oceana, suggests that how much oil a country imports does not affect gas prices. Rather, the group “found that while gasoline prices vary greatly among these five nations, the variation is almost entirely attributable to variation in gasoline taxes

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Oil Trades Near Two-Day High on Japan, Stimulus Outlook

Oil traded near the highest close in two days as rising imports by Japan and speculation the Federal Reserve will add stimulus to the U.S. economy countered concern Europe’s debt crisis will derail the global recovery. Futures were little changed in New York after falling as much as 0.3 percent. Japan’s crude imports gained 7.1 percent in May from a year ago, according to data from the finance ministry.

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Brazil Government Fails to Benefit Blocking Oil Firms

International oil companies looking to start exploring Brazil, home to the largest discoveries in the past decade, can’t get near the crude. Brazil has repeatedly delayed the sale of exploration areas since 2007, leaving Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA) shut out of an offshore area that holds at least $5 trillion of oil.

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