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#OIL. Totale lager (inkl. råolje og produkter) viste kraftig fall. Netto importen var også vesentlig lavere. Prisen WTI og Opec kurvpris er stabil i prisbandet $ 53-54/fat. US produsenter har tidligere "hedged" rundt $ 55/fat. 55 blir testen i første omgang. The nation’s glut of crude oil rose again this past week, but the small increase was more than offset by shrinking inventories of refined products like gasoline.

U.S. oil inventories grew by 600,000 barrels, but that’s a much smaller jump than the previous two weeks hikes of 9.5 million barrels and 13.8 million barrels. After a two-year oil bust, U.S. crude production has increased since late last year.

On the other hand, gasoline stockpiles fell by 2.6 million barrels and the inventories of distillate fuel oil, which is used to make diesel and heating oils, plummeted by 4.9 million barrels. That shows the nation’s refiners are making progress in working through the crude glut.

Oil pricing has responded favorably with the U.S. benchmark for oil priced at over $54 a barrel. Oil prices are near their highest levels since mid-2015, but well down from the $100 oil from as recently as mid-2014.

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#OIL. Subsidies for renewable and even nuclear generation are an increasing concern for the US thermal coal industry, Rob Hardman, vice president of fuel supply at Dynegy, said Thursday at the World Trade & Transport Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.

During a fuel buyers panel discussion, Hardman said coal burn continues to threatened by zero-emission generation, including nuclear generation that would be uneconomic if not for billions of dollars in tax credits.

Hardman noted that in December the state of Illinois approved more than $2 billion in subsidies to keep the Clinton and Quad Cities nuclear plants running. Those plants were in jeopardy of closing because of the fierceness of the competition. Other utilities could seek similar financial support to keep nuclear units online in Ohio, he said.

"These subsides are keeping uneconomic generation running and favoring generation in competitive markets," Hardman said.

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Det begynner å bli størrelse på nye World Bank støttede solcelle-prosjekt i Afrika: "Zambia to tender 500 MW with Scaling Solar help. February 22, 2017" #OIL #Renewables http://www.ippjournal.com/news/zambia-to-tender-500-mw-with-scaling-sola...

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#STL. #OIL. Norwegian state-controlled Statoil plans to bring its Aasta Hansteen gas field online in the fourth quarter of 2018, a company spokesman said Wednesday, later than the Q4 2017 originally hoped for.

The field in the Norwegian Sea is one of the most northerly developed in Norway and required the construction of a new pipeline, dubbed Polarled, to link it to the Nyhamna gas processing facility.

The field -- 180 miles (290 kilometers) off the coast of Norway -- holds more than 1.66 Tcf of gas as well as some condensate.

According to the original production and development plan submitted by the partners in 2013, the planned start-up for Aasta Hansteen was Q4 2017.

Asked Wednesday about the latest timetable for the field, the Statoil spokesman said only that it was now Q4 2018.

Meanwhile, work on the Polarled pipeline has continued apace, and project partner Shell said this month the 480 km pipeline had been physically connected to the Nyhamna processing plant.

From there, gas from Aasta Hansteen will flow via the Langeled pipeline to the UK.

"The two parts of the Polarled development project were literally welded together in January, creating a 1,700 km long highway for gas from the middle of the Norwegian Sea via Nyhamna and further to UK via Langeled," Shell said.

Shell is the operator at Nyhamna while Statoil is the operator of the Polarled developing project.

Part of the project is the expansion at Nyhamna, which will boost its processing capacity to 84 million cu m/d from 70 million cu m/d.

This will enable the plant to take gas from Aasta Hansteen and will also boost recovery at the Ormen Lange facility.

Shell has said the Nyhamna expansion project would be completed in 2017.

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Non-OPEC Members Falling Short of Promised Production Cuts
By Benoit Faucon
LONDON--Big oil producers outside OPEC aren't cutting production as much as they pledged, Qatar's oil minister said Wednesday, deepening pessimism about the effect of a landmark output deal struck last year.

Russia, Mexico and nine other oil-producing countries agreed in December to reduce their output by a combined 558,000 barrels a day. The promise was part of a deal to raise crude prices with the 13 nations of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, which separately agreed to slash 1.2 million barrels a day.

But the non-OPEC piece of the deal doesn't appear to be falling into place yet, said Mohammed al-Sada, the oil minister of OPEC member Qatar, and a key negotiator who brought the landmark deal together last year.

Speaking to reporters at a London oil-market conference, Mr. Sada said non-OPEC members have cut "about 50%" of the total promised.

He cautioned that his estimate could be incomplete because those countries have little experience calculating reductions.

Russia said it would cut 300,000 barrels a day from total output above 11 million barrels a day. But the country has made about one-third of those cuts, the International Energy Agency said in its latest report.

Russian officials have said their oil-production cuts would come gradually over the first six months of the year.

Oil producers have a meeting scheduled on Wednesday to discuss compliance with the deal. #OIL

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#OIL. Oman running large budget deficit. Oman, the largest Middle East crude exporter who is not a member of OPEC, is looking into the possibility of receiving early payments for its crude, rather than having to issue debt to raise funds.

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#OIL. Angolas export loading plan for April is 1.691mn bpd, comprising of 53 cargoes. This is some 180,000 bpd above the production level it commited to maintain, to keep in compliance with OPEC cuts.

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