European stocks wallowed Wednesday on dour growth prospects while Asian shares were mostly higher as a slump in energy prices promised benefits for the region's major economies.
KEEPING SCORE: Amid the prospect Europe will relapse into recession, France's CAC 40 sank 0.8 percent to 4,057.65 and Germany's DAX lost 0.6 percent to 8,767.19. Britain's FTSE 100 swooned 1.2 percent to 6,314.50. Futures augured losses on Wall Street. Dow futures fell 0.2 percent and S&P 500 futures shed 0.3 percent.
ENERGY SLUMP: The price of oil suffered its biggest drop in nearly two years after the International Energy Agency reduced its forecast for demand for this year and 2015. The benchmark U.S. crude futures contract fell $3.90 to close Tuesday at $81.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the biggest drop since November of 2012, and it's the lowest closing price since June of 2012. The contract was down $1.14 at $80.72 on Wednesday.
A study released by the Aspen Institute, a group backed by a number of energy companies, suggests lifting the U.S. crude export ban would press a decline in gasoline prices by putting more oil in the global market where prices are set, Reuters reports.
Falling oil prices may pose a threat to Russian President Vladimir Putin's power and popularity in his country, as falling revenue, slow economic growth and sanctions by Western nations limit how much his government can raise state pensions and wages, Bloomberg reports.
OPEC's decision to maintain oil production despite falling prices may press U.S. producers to increase pressure on Washington to end its long-standing crude export ban by arguing the move would keep production high even if prices continue to fall, Reuters reports.
A portion of a Sunoco Logistics oil pipeline in northwest Louisiana is still shut down after a leak of about 4,000 barrels in one of the year's largest pipeline spills, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Pioneer Natural Resources Chief Executive Scott Sheffield, whose firm is one of two to get a federal green light to export lightly-processed oil condensates, on Tuesday called on the Commerce Department to approve all pending export applications.
Such an approval would push back by up to 18 months the coming problem of domestic light crude production exceeding U.S. refining capacity, he said at a forum hosted by the Aspen Institute in Washington.
Documents released to E&E under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Interior Department's inspector general investigated BP America from December 2008 to April 2011 for allegedly underpaying millions in royalty fees at sites in Wyoming; BP was found not in violation, though the reports were not made public.
After the International Energy Agency scaled back its forecast for 2014 oil demand growth, Brent crude fell $2.65 to settle at $86.24 per barrel while U.S. crude dropped $2.68 a barrel to a $83.06 close, Reuters reports.
Shifting from its tendency to call for production cuts amid declining oil prices, Iran joined Saudi Arabia and other Gulf OPEC members in saying the current decline in oil prices doesn't require any change in production levels, Reuters reports.
Saudi Arabian Prince al-Waleed bin Talal publicly disputed comments from Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi that downplayed the impact of tumbling oil prices on the Saudi economy, citing the government's high budgetary reliance on oil revenue, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Some ten percent of natural gas produced in drilling fields like those in the Bakken and Eagle Ford shale – most of which is methane -- leaks into the atmosphere, according to a study published in the journal Earth’s Future, E&E reports.
An increase in a Chinese manufacturing index combined with faster-than-expected growth in European industrial activity helped boost oil prices early Thursday. U.S. benchmark crude gained 20 cents to $80.72 a barrel in electronic trading on the Nymex, while in London Brent crude was up 25 cents to $84.96, Reuters reports.
California Resources Corp., a production unit that Occidental Petroleum Corp. is planning to spin off next month, saw a drop in net income to $188 million from July to September, which it attributed to lower crude prices and higher production costs, FuelFix reports.
Kinder Morgan’s $44 billion move to combine its companies will go to shareholders for a vote Nov. 20, the company said Wednesday, claiming the step “paves the way for superior growth,” FuelFix reports.
With $9.5 million laid out so far this year on lobbying -– according to figures in disclosure reports filed with the Senate –- Koch Industries has outspent Exxon Mobil and funneled significantly more into advocacy than it did in 2013, E&E reports.
Cabot Oil & Gas and Vera Scroggins return to court in Pennsylvania next week in another chapter of their long-running legal fight, with the 63-year-old anti-fracking activist potentially facing fines or time in prison, NPR’s StateImpact Pennsylvania reports.
State Department energy envoy Amos Hochstein says the federal government won’t get involved in the dispute between Baghdad and the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq over ownership of oil on board the tanker United Kalavrvta, which has been sitting off the coast of Galveston for months, Platts reports.