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Oil Features

OPEC rolls on as Iraq maps out its future

July 16, 2014 - Back in late May, it was obvious that OPEC's June 11 meeting in Vienna was going to result in yet another rollover of the 30 million b/d crude production ceiling that has been in place since January 2012

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Africa: by the sword divided

May 06, 2014 - Africa is experiencing its most successful economic and political period since independence. The number of armed conflicts has fallen; greater stability has encouraged improved governance; and better levels of stability, and governance have contributed to strong economic growth.

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The fall of fuel oil in the US

May 02, 2014 - US residual fuel oil demand recently hit a record-low 154,000 b/d less than a decade after demand was closer to 1 million b/d, according to US government statistics.

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Shifting US crude flows

April 14, 2014 - The ramp-up of US Midcontinent crude oil pipelines since the start of the year has led to more oil than ever moving from Cushing, Oklahoma, to the US Gulf Coast, and even with inventories at the delivery hub near a five-year low, tanks owners say under-utilization is not an issue.

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European Oil: Q1 in Review

April 10, 2014 - Platts' European oil team provides in-depth commentary and pricing assessments for crude, diesel and several other oil products markets for the first quarter of 2014.

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'Big oil' getting smaller as production keeps falling

February 14, 2014 - The biggest western oil companies are continuing to see their oil output decline, despite record investment in recent years spurred by sustained crude prices in excess of $100/barrel.

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Gasoline replaces gasoil as China's driver of oil demand growth

February 13, 2014 - China's ongoing macroeconomic reforms are heralding a structural change in its oil product consumption mix with sluggish gasoil demand compensated by gasoline, which has become the main driver of overall oil demand growth in the country.

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Big Asian buyers slash Iranian oil imports

February 10, 2014 - If Iran and six world powers reach a comprehensive agreement on the nuclear issue and sanctions on the Islamic Republic are fully lifted, Tehran will have to work hard to regain the share of world oil markets it lost.

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Regular buyers of South Sudanese crude seek alternatives

January 27, 2014 - Since the end of last year, regular buyers of crude oil from South Sudan have been looking for alternatives as fighting continues to disrupt the country's oil output and exports.

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Brazil continues to develop prolific deepwater finds

January 08, 2014 - Much of 2013 was taken up watching the unraveling of OGX and Eike Batista's empire of interlinked companies, such as shipbuilder OSX. OGX, once the star of Brazil's oil boom, went into bankruptcy protection on October 30.

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NaturalGas Features

Exelon enters LNG market with Annova stake

July 16, 2014 - Exelon, which operates the largest US nuclear fleet, has thrown its hat into the liquefied natural gas market, purchasing a 96% stake in a company that plans to export LNG from Texas.

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Ukraine rejects Russia's gas price discount, seeks to amend contract

June 11, 2014 - Ukraine has rejected a natural gas price discount of $100/1,000 cubic meters offered by Russia and insists on making amendments to the current gas contract, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk said June 11.

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Haynesville Shale gas production slumps

April 23, 2014 - Producers are taking a wait-and-see approach before committing significant resources to the once red-hot dry-gas play in Louisiana and Texas.

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US gas pipelines reverse course

April 02, 2014 - Three pipeline projects set to begin moving more natural gas out of the Appalachian shales, including the Marcellus and the Utica, to traditional upstream markets herald a growing focus on market optionality over profitability.

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US Summer Natural Gas Outlook

March 17, 2014 - After an historic winter that saw some gas prices hit record highs and supplies increasingly head eastward, forward assessments now indicate stronger year-over-year Western gas prices that will create the incentive to flow more gas westward this summer.

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Forecast: China coal-to-gas projects

February 03, 2014 - Recent forecasts for Chinese gas output have been bullish, based primarily on the success of production from unconventional gas resources. However, the forecasts of state-owned oil and gas companies' generally fall short of those made by government agencies.

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ElectricPower Features

EPA CO2 rules could boost nuclear power

June 25, 2014 - The Environmental Protection Agency's recently released plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants could provide a boost to nuclear power.

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Trend favors pressurized over boiling water nuclear reactors: industry

June 09, 2014 - The global nuclear fleet is tilting toward increased dominance by pressurized water reactors, as countries favoring that technology build aggressively while only a handful of boiling water reactors are scheduled to be built in the next 10 years.

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MISO summer price outlook uncertain

May 22, 2014 - Traders in the Midcontinent Independent System Operator face plenty of uncertainty over summer price trends, although on the whole, prices are likely to be higher than they were in the summer of 2013.

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Federal cash still part of big solar gains

April 08, 2014 - The US Treasury Department's four and a half year old cash reimbursement program for renewable power generation passed a milestone in February, disbursing more than $20 billion, all the while helping to boost solar power generation in the US.

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Mercuria deal boosts merchant trader clout

March 24, 2014 - JP Morgan Chase is selling its physical commodities trading operations to Swiss-based merchant trading firm Mercuria for $3.5 billion, and it's not the only financial institution backing out of energy markets due to regulatory pressures and falling revenues.

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US Power Analysis feature: Winter extremes heating up spring power prices: analysis

February 26, 2014 - The bump in natural gas prices caused by this winter's extreme weather appears to have pushed expectations for March, April and May wholesale power prices sharply higher since the first of the year, an analysis of Platts price data shows.

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EU electricity market capacity mechanisms 'unavoidable'

February 19, 2014 - Capacity remuneration mechanisms are "unavoidable" in countries with large shares of renewable electricity, and capacity rather than energy needs will drive future investments, senior power industry executives told an energy conference in Brussels on February 6.

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Petrochemicals Features

US shale boom impacts Asian petrochemicals

May 14, 2014 - The US shale gas boom has triggered a reversal of the mixed xylenes arbitrage with Asia, making it economical to send Asian material to the US, where the ongoing shift to lighter feedstocks has cut aromatics yields by as much as 55%, sources said.

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Olefins Rarity: Global Arbitrages Open

April 22, 2014 - With arbitrage windows between Asia, Europe and the Americas open for the three main olefins, traders are looking to move cargoes on rare routes and at lower freight rates between the three major markets.

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Asian Petrochemicals Data Set

April 04, 2014 - Platts Market Data is the most efficient and reliable way to receive our benchmark price assessments. Download one day's sample of Platts Asian Petrochemicals Data Set.

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Easing Iran sanctions sparks hopes for petchems exports, but hurdles remain

March 06, 2014 - Early indications show Iran's petrochemicals sector, once a major exporter of methanol and polyethylene, may struggle to take advantage of temporary sanctions relief, and some are skeptical a long-term solution can be reached soon.

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Downstream expansions, turnarounds to support Asia SM demand in 2014

February 10, 2014 - Although demand for styrene monomer is currently sluggish and inventories are high in key market China amid the Lunar New Year holiday, new plants and plant expansions in downstream industries in Northeast Asia are expected to boost demand in 2014.

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Metals Features

Global Iron Ore: Index-Linked Pricing

April 30, 2014 - An increasing number of lump term contracts with miners like BHP Billiton, Anglo American and Mount Gibson Iron have become linked to the spot lump premium published by Platts, according to various industry sources.

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Metallurgical Coal: 2013 in Review

February 05, 2014 - China and Australia dominated the global spot metallurgical coal market in 2013, a year which saw less price volatility, accelerated trend towards index-pricing, uptick in traded swaps volumes, and more miners blending down premium coals into second-tier products.

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Can historic data provide iron ore price direction clues for 2014?

January 15, 2014 - How strong is the correlation between the constrained supply and spot iron ore prices in the first quarter of each year? To what extent is there a direct impact on spot prices?

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Agriculture Features

Global Ethanol Market Update

March 18, 2014 - US biofuels RINs prices were mixed March 17 as selling interest in some markets grew at steadily lower levels throughout the day, sources said; the European ethanol market trended lower in sympathy with related commodity markets.

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