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Energy News: European Benchmark Brent Crude Overtake US's WTI

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Plus, Saudi Aramco and Exxon Mobil will shut Yanbu facilities, and Conoco will sell Kazakh oilfield.

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This column highlights the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on energy from around the Web.

Bloomberg
Link: Brent Poised to Depose WTI as Most-Traded Oil Futures
"For the first year since the futures were created, Brent Crude (NYSEARCA:BNO) is poised to overtake West Texas Intermediate oil (NYSEARCA:OIL) as the world's most-traded commodity.

"Daily trading in Brent jumped 14% to average 567,000 contracts in the year to Nov. 20 compared with all of 2011, while WTI fell 17% to 575,000, according to data from the ICE Futures Europe exchange in London and New York Mercantile Exchange compiled by Bloomberg. The number of Brent futures changing hands has exceeded those for WTI every month from April through October, the longest streak since at least 1995."

Arabian Business.com
Link: Aramco, Exxon to Shut Most of Yanbu Refinery in March
"Saudi Aramco Mobil Refinery Company will shut most of the units at its 400,000 barrel per day Yanbu refinery in March to bring a new cleaner fuel project online, traders said on Monday.

"The outage planned by the joint venture between state oil company Saudi Aramco and US energy giant ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM) is expected to start on March 10 and last for 45-50 days, traders and an industry source said."

Reuters
Link: ConocoPhillips to Sell Kazakh Oilfield Stake to India's ONGC for $5 bln
"ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) said it plans to sell its 8.4% stake in Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan oil field to India's Oil (NSE:OIL) and Natural Gas Corp Ltd for about $5 billion as the Indian company looks to make up for flagging production.

"Kashagan, the world's biggest oilfield discovery since 1968, holds an estimated 30 billion barrels of oil-in-place, of which 8-12 billion are potentially recoverable. First production from the field is expected in 2013."

The Hindu
Link: Come Clear on Gas Pricing, BP Writes to Petroleum Minister
"Stating that investments or import substitution worth $100-150 billion were waiting to be unlocked, British Petroleum Plc (NYSE:BP), which partners with Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries Limited (BOM:500325) in India, has sought putting in place a clear policy on exploration and pricing of gas in order to effectively develop these resources and unlock this huge potential.
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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