Last update: Thu, 30 Jun 2016 06pm

Fuel and Energy: World


Oil prices surged 4 percent on Wednesday, with Brent settling above the psychological $50 a barrel mark, after a larger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories. It was a second straight day of gains for oil, which has risen nearly 8 percent since Monday's settlement to recover almost all of what it lost after Britain's shock vote to exit the European Union.
A newly discovered helium gas field in Tanzania was hailed Tuesday as a "game changer" by scientists and the company hoping to exploit it. Helium is a rare gas used in medical scanners, scientific research, spaceships, weather balloons and telescopes - as well as party balloons and for squeaky-voiced comic effect - and it is thought world consumption is far outstripping production, raising concerns of a global shortage.
Oil prices rose 2 percent on Tuesday with investors taking advantage to buy back into the market after a two-day rout triggered by Britain's vote to leave the European Union. Potential oil supply outages and crude inventory drawdowns also returned investors' attention to market fundamentals. A looming strike at several Norwegian oil and gas fields that threatened output in western Europe's biggest producer helped put a floor beneath crude futures after an 8 percent price slump over two days.
Qatar's petroleum products marketing company is to be integrated within Qatar Petroleum (QP) by the end of 2016 as the country cuts costs at state-owned enterprises to contend with low oil prices and increased competition in energy markets. The move to absorb Qatar International Petroleum Marketing Co, known as Tasweeq, will maximise value for QP in an "ever more competitive and demanding market environment", QP Chief Executive Sherida al-Kaabi said after the plan was announced on Sunday.
The Asian naphtha price for the first half of August was $1.50 a tonne lower than for the first half of September on Tuesday, extending the intermonth spread to its widest since June 14, pressured by ample supplies. The front-month price is usually lower than the following month in a weak market and vice versa. "The situation looks dire," one Singapore-based industry source said in reference to the naphtha market fundamentals. Asia has been marked by unrelenting high supplies since early this year, exacerbated by overproduction.
Oil prices fell about 2 percent on Monday, weighed by a rallying dollar and continued market uncertainty over Britain's shock vote to exit the European Union. Brent and US crude futures have lost about 7 percent since Thursday's settlement after the so-called Brexit vote sent global risk assets plummeting on Friday as investors fled to safe havens such as the dollar, US Treasuries and gold.
Oil production in Nigeria has risen to about 1.9 million barrels per day (bpd), from 1.6 million bpd, due to repairs and more than a week having passed since a major pipeline attack in the Niger Delta, a state oil company spokesman said on Monday.