Gulf economies to slow this year on sluggish oil demand —Reuters Poll

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Oil Updates — Crude mixed; Guyana in talks with Qatar, UK, UAE and India on oil blocks

RIYADH: Crude oil prices remained mixed in Asian trade on Tuesday amid hopes of a fuel demand recovery from top importer China, although concerns about a slowdown in the US economy capped gains.

Brent crude was down 10 cents to $88.09 per barrel at 08.20 a.m. Saudi time after rising to a session high of $88.36. US West Texas Intermediate crude rose 2 cents to $81.64 per barrel after climbing to $81.88 earlier in the session.

US energy chief says Biden would veto House Republican bill on oil reserve

President Joe Biden will veto a bill by US House of Representatives Republicans on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve if it passes Congress, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said on Monday.

In a letter last week, Granholm warned Republicans that limiting the Democratic president’s authority to tap the nation’s oil reserves would undermine national security, cause crude oil shortages, and raise gasoline prices.

“He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing” Granholm, speaking to reporters at a White House briefing, said of Biden.

The bill, called HR21, would prohibit the energy secretary from tapping the SPR without producing a plan to increase oil and gas leasing on federal lands — unless the release is for a severe oil supply emergency.

The House, which Republicans control by a narrow margin, is expected to vote on the bill as soon as this week. The legislation would face an uphill battle in the Senate, controlled by Democrats.

Republican lawmakers say they are concerned that last year’s releases from the SPR, the biggest amount of crude oil from any president, have deteriorated the ability to store, pipe and pump oil at the SPR, which holds crude across series of underground natural caverns on the Texas and Louisiana coasts.

Guyana in talks with Qatar, UK, UAE and India on oil blocks

Guyana is in talks with Qatar, Britain, the UAE and India on the possibility of directly allocating offshore blocks for oil and gas exploration in parallel with a bidding round this year, President Irfaan Ali said on Monday.

South America’s newest crude producer has emerged as the world’s fast-growing oil region with more than 11 billion barrels of oil and gas discovered.

Guyana will receive bids through mid-April from energy firms for its competitive bidding round, which is offering 14 areas encompassing shallow and deepwater areas. Separately, it has held talks with other nations over directly allocating areas.

“We have been toying with a number of options,” Ali said on the sidelines of an energy conference in Trinidad and Tobago. “We have gone out publicly with the bid round (and) there is also that room we are looking at for government-to-government collaboration.”

Ali visited India earlier this month, where he encouraged companies to participate in the round and engaged in talks with the government for block allocations to state companies and on possible oil supply contracts to the Asian country.

(With input from Reuters) 

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