Commodities Update – Gold Down, Silver Up; Rebound in iron ore and steel futures in China

Oil Updates – Crude Extends Gains; Russian oil imports from Europe fall; Norwegian Vaar Energi increases its dividend

RIYADH: Oil prices extended their gains on Wednesday amid simmering geopolitical tensions as Russia cut gas supplies to Bulgaria and Poland, while hopes of Chinese economic stimulus buoyed the outlook for Requirement.

Brent crude futures rose 67 cents, or 0.6%, to $105.66 a barrel at 0636 GMT.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures gained 44 cents, or 0.4%, to $102.14 a barrel.

Crude prices rose about 3% on Tuesday in volatile trading as the market is torn between supply and demand concerns over Russian oil and gas disruptions and deteriorating global economic prospects.

Oil company Vaar Energi raises dividend as first-quarter profits soar

Norway’s Vaar Energi increased its annual dividend on Wednesday and posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profits, helped by soaring oil and gas prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Vaar, majority-owned by Italy’s Eni, posted pre-tax profit of $1.65 billion for the January-March quarter, up from $1.12 billion a year earlier.

The company said that under current market conditions, it expects to pay a dividend of $1 billion for 2022, up from $800 million previously forecast.

“The current commodity price environment reflects the significant uncertainties created by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February,” CEO Torger Roed said in a statement.

Cash flow from operations rose 135% year-over-year in the first quarter to an “outstanding” $2.2 billion, Vaar said.

The first-quarter dividend will be $225 million, or 9 cents per share, and will be increased to $260 million for the second quarter, Vaar said.

Temasek-backed oil rig builders unveil transformative deal

Singapore’s Sembcorp Marine has agreed to partner with the largest offshore and marine unit of local conglomerate Keppel Corp, a year after Temasek-backed companies began talks to weather an industry downturn.

“The combined entity will be well positioned to seize opportunities arising from decarbonization in the oil and gas sector and the global energy transition to renewables, particularly in the areas of offshore wind and new sources of energy. ‘energy,” the companies said in a joint statement. statement on Wednesday.

Sembmarine and Keppel Offshore & Marine, one of the world’s largest offshore oil rig builders, have suffered from a prolonged and severe downturn in the industry for many years.

A surge in oil prices partly improved the outlook for the industry.

Once the merger is complete, Keppel and its shareholders will own 56% of the combined entity, while Sembcorp Marine shareholders will own the remainder. Keppel will distribute in kind 46% of the shares of the merged entity to its shareholders and will retain a 10% stake.

Singaporean public investor Temasek, the majority shareholder of Sembmarine, will become the largest shareholder in the merged company with a 33.5% stake.

US lawmakers question ConocoPhillips over Alaska gas leak

Three U.S. Democratic lawmakers have asked the ConocoPhillips chief for more information about a month-old natural gas leak from an oil field in northern Alaska and its implications for his neighboring project on public lands.

U.S. Representative Raul Grijalva, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, and two other Democrats sent a letter to Ryan Lance, chairman and CEO of ConocoPhillips, asking why it took a month to identify the leak on his field. alpine and control this.

More than 7.2 million cubic feet of natural gas, the main component of which is the powerful greenhouse gas methane, has leaked from the oilfield, the company and regulators said this month.

The leak temporarily cut oil production from Alpine, one of the largest conventional onshore oilfields developed in North America in the past 25 years, by about a third. Traces of gas could continue to leak from the site, ConocoPhillips said in a video.

Lawmakers also questioned why the company temporarily evacuated about 300 of its own employees even as it publicly denied the leak posed a threat to human health and safety.

Fall in Russian diesel imports to Europe

European diesel imports from Russia are expected to fall in April but will still overtake those from other regions, underscoring the challenge European governments face as they consider new sanctions on Russian oil, Reuters reports.

Diesel deliveries from Asia, the Middle East and the United States are expected to hit their highest level in nearly three years in April, according to data from oil analyst firm Vortexa, as traders scramble to replenish dwindling stocks and gradually reduce the region’s dependence on Russian oil.

Although European Union sanctions have so far avoided targeting oil from Russia, its main supplier, many traders and refiners have opted to reduce their purchases of Russian crude and refined products in recent months.

Concerns over Russian supplies have led to a sharp drop in European diesel stocks in recent weeks. Stocks in the Amsterdam-Rotterdam-Antwerp hub are at their lowest since 2008, according to data from Dutch consultancy Insights Global.

(With contributions from Reuters)

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