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European stocks wallow, Asia gains on oil slump

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.

Oil

Aspen report suggests lifting export ban would lower gas prices

Source: 
Reuters

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.

Oil

Cheaper oil could downgrade Putin's power

Source: 
Bloomberg

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.

Oil

OPEC production could spur stronger industry campaign against export ban

Source: 
Reuters

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.

Oil

Louisiana Sunoco Logistics pipeline still closed after leak

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

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.

EnergyGuardian photo

Pioneer's Sheffield: shale output nearing US refiner limits

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.

Oil

Documents show Interior IG scrutinized BP for royalty payments

Source: 
E&E

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.

Oil

Oil prices continue decline after IEA growth forecast

Source: 
Reuters

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.

Oil

Iran shifts position, says falling prices workable

Source: 
Reuters

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.

Oil

Saudi prince disputes minister's comments on oil prices

Source: 
The Wall Street Journal

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.

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