WTI below $104 on predictions of supply increase


West Texas Intermediate dipped Tuesday on predictions that U.S. inventories increased last week, with the contract for May delivery closing down 30 cents to $103.75 a barrel on the Nymex. In London, Brent fell 33 cents on the final day of the May contract, to $108.74, Bloomberg reports.


August lease sale for western Gulf of Mexico, says BOEM


A lease sale set for August will cover more than 21 million acres in the western Gulf of Mexico, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said Tuesday, Platts reports.


Fighting threatens an oil center in South Sudan

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — Rebel fighters in South Sudan claimed Tuesday that they captured the capital of an oil-rich state, and they issued an ultimatum to oil companies to shut down production and evacuate workers. U.N. peacekeepers rescued 10 oil workers from the violence, but not before five were wounded.

U.N. peacekeepers from Mongolia rescued 10 staff members from the Russian oil company Safinat just north of the city of Bentiu, said Joe Contreras, a U.N. spokesman. He said two of the five wounded were in critical condition.

A rebel commander, speaking by phone from Unity state, said rebel forces recaptured Bentiu from government troops.


Colo.: Anti-fracking initiatives multiply even as oil boom intensifies

The Denver Post

Attorney General John Suthers considers Colorado to be ground zero in the debate over fracking, where voter initiatives against the drilling practice are multiplying even as the oil boom in the state intensifies, The Denver Post reports.


Court upholds convictions in Ky. oil drilling scam

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Two brothers who defrauded millions of dollars from thousands of investors in an oil and gas drilling scheme lost a bid Tuesday to have their convictions and sentences overturned.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that prosecutors presented enough evidence to back their contention that 53-year-old Christopher Cello Smith of Prestonsburg, Ky., and 58-year-old Michael D. Smith of Cookeville, Tenn., defrauded thousands of investors.

The Smiths ran a company called Target Oil and Gas. Prosecutors said the company asked investors to fund drilling projects in Kentucky, Texas, West Virginia and Tennessee but used fraudulent marketing materials and false geological surveys to persuade them.


Oil dips, traders await data, pause to consider developments in Ukraine, Libya


The price of crude oil slipped Tuesday a day after zooming higher, with U.S. benchmark crude dropping 96 cents to $103.09 in electronic trading on Nymex, and Brent losing 36 cents in London to $108.71 in midday trading, Reuters reports.


Total trims costs, to start Kaombo ultradeepwater project off Angola

The New York Times

French oil giant Total says it is setting a 2017 start date for the Kaombo ultradeepwater project off Angola after finding a way to slash the projected cost by $4 billion, down to $16 billion, The New York Times reports.


IPO for Houston biotech firm targeting stranded oil


Houston-based Glori Energy is launching on the stock market Tuesday, the company intends to use biotechnology to get at oil stranded in sandstone, FuelFix reports.

NY updates oil spill preparedness plans

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — State and federal environmental officials in New York are changing the way they prepare for oil spills.

The state's Department of Environmental Conservation announced last week that it's working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Coast Guard to revise and update its plans for preventing and responding to spills.

Associated Press

GAO sees demand, biofuels challenges for refiners

The oil refining sector faces potentially "profound" changes as it deals with the oil boom, uncertain demand at home and abroad and new regulatory costs, the Government Accountability Office said in a report issued Monday.

In the report, written at the request of Sen. David Vitter, R-La., and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., GAO said the outlook for refiners profitability depends in part on their ability to sell more product overseas and action by the Environmental Protection Agency to end delays in setting annual Renewable Fuel Standard biofuels levels.


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