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Oil Updates — Crude steady; Myanmar to import Russian oil; Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

RIYADH: Oil prices were little changed on Thursday as investors grappled with falling stockpiles in the US, rising output from Russia and worries about a potential global recession.

Brent crude futures climbed 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $93.75 a barrel by 0347 GMT. 

US crude futures gained 10 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $88.21 a barrel.

Myanmar to import Russian oil, military says

Military-ruled Myanmar plans to import Russian gasoline and fuel oil to ease supply concerns and rising prices, a junta spokesperson said, the latest developing country to do so amid a global energy crisis.

The Southeast Asian country has maintained friendly ties with Russia, even as both remain under a raft of sanctions from Western countries — Myanmar for a military coup that overthrew an elected government last year, and Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, which it calls a “special military operation.”

Russia is seeking new customers for its energy in the region as its biggest export destination, Europe, will impose an embargo on Russian oil in phases later this year.

“We have received permission to import petrol from Russia,” military spokesperson Zaw Min Tun said during a news conference on Wednesday, adding that it was favored for its “quality and low cost.”

Fuel oil shipments are due to start arriving from September, according to media.

Phillips 66 offers to buy pipeline operator DCP Midstream

US refiner Phillips 66 on Wednesday offered to acquire the public units of DCP Midstream in a deal that would value the pipeline operator at a $7.2 billion deal and bulk up Phillip’s natural gas liquids business.

A deal would mark the first major move by Mark Lashier, who took over as the CEO of Phillips 66 last month. Earlier this year, the company acquired the public units in the transportation and storage business Phillips 66 Partners.

Canadian pipeline operator Enbridge, which owned 50 percent of DCP’s general partner, said it would reduce its stake in the company to 13.2 percent from 28.3 percent. It received a $400 million cash payment from Phillips 66 as part of the deal.

Enbridge will, in turn, take over as operator and more than double its stake in the Grey Oak pipeline, previously operated by Phillips 66. The Grey Oak pipeline transport crude oil from West Texas to the Gulf Coast.

Phillips 66’s economic interest in the Gray Oak pipeline will fall to 6.50 percent from 42.25 percent.

Aker Energy postpones Ghana oilfield plan amid Lukoil’s involvement

Norway’s Aker Energy said on Wednesday it would postpone the submission of a development plan for its Pecan oilfield off Ghana amid concern the project could face sanctions over the war in Ukraine due to the involvement of Russian oil firm Lukoil.

Aker Energy, controlled by Aker ASA, owns 50 percent in the deepwater block off Ghana where the Pecan field is located, while Lukoil holds 38 percent, Ghana National Petroleum Corporation has 10 percent and Fueltrade 2 percent.

The partners will not submit a development plan to Ghanaian authorities “until the challenges have been resolved,” Aker ASA CEO Oeyvind Eriksen told a call with analysts.

Russia invaded Ukraine in February in what it calls “a special military operation,” prompting unprecedented Western sanctions on Moscow and a breakup of economic relations.

“We are continuing a dialogue with Lukoil and Ghanaian authorities about possible solutions,” Eriksen told Reuters, adding that one option was for Lukoil to divest from the project.

Aker said Ghanaian authorities have extended a deadline to submit the plan until Sept. 30.

(With input from Reuters)

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