Oil Updates — Crude recovers; Russian firms halt publishing data; SCOR tightens oil sector cover

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RIYADH: Oil prices rose on Thursday, recovering from early losses, on hopes that the planned easing of restrictions in Shanghai could improve fuel demand while lingering concerns over tight global supplies outweighed fears of slower economic growth.

Brent crude futures for July were up $1.53, or 1.4 percent, at $110.64 a barrel at 0447 GMT, after falling by more than $1 earlier in the session.

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US West Texas Intermediate crude futures for June rose 93 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $110.52 a barrel, recovering from an early loss of more than $2. 

China in talks with Russia to buy oil for strategic reserves: Bloomberg

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China is in talks with Russia to buy additional supplies of oil in order to add to its strategic crude inventories, Bloomberg reported quoting people familiar with the matter. 

According to the people, the crude would be used to fill China’s strategic petroleum reserves. 

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These talks are being carried out at a government level with little direct involvement from oil companies, the people added.

Slovak refiner Slovnaft to start two-month outages

Slovak refinery Slovnaft, part of Hungarian oil and gas group MOL, will launch a planned outage for maintenance and upgrades on Friday, with a record number of 21 production units in two blocks being affected, the company said on Thursday.

The outages will take place in both its refining and petrochemical units, Slovnaft said, while it planned to invest 36 million euros in the summer maintenance, which is due to end on July 20.

Russian firms, entities halt publishing data amid sanctions

Oil pipeline monopoly Transneft has joined other Russian entities in curbing access to trade and financial data, sources told Reuters.

In the wake of Western sanctions imposed on Russia after it sent troops into Ukraine, the central bank said it would allow companies to withhold financial results.

Russian authorities are also allowing companies and banks to conceal information on securities issued and on their contractors.

Apart from Transneft, other companies that have stopped publishing data include Aeroflot, Alrosa, Gazprom, and Lukoil. 

Reinsurer SCOR tightens oil sector cover over carbon emissions

SCOR, the world’s fourth-biggest reinsurer, said on Wednesday it would stop covering new oil field production projects from 2023 unless the company involved had an acceptable plan to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.

The move is the latest by a leading insurer to impose tighter policy conditions on coverage for the oil and gas sector, the main driver of man-made greenhouse gas emissions, as scientists warn faster action is needed on climate change.

It also follows an International Energy Agency report last year which said expansion of the oil and gas industry needed to cease if the world wanted to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average.

SCOR said in a statement accompanying results of the French company’s annual general meeting that it aimed to double the amount of insurance coverage for low-carbon energies by 2025.

“SCOR believes that reaching net-zero can only be achieved by combining climate mitigation and climate adaptation measures, supported by strong engagement with clients and partners, and an active approach to transition,” it said.

(With input from Reuters) 

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