Need help finding gas? Gas Buddy has launched an interactive web application that shows you which stations have gas, which stations have no gas and which stations are closed in the areas impacted by Hurricane Sandy [mobile version here].
Photo: People wait in line to buy gas at a station, as the Empire State Building and the skyline of New York is seen in the background, at Union City, New Jersey November 2, 2012. [REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz]
Royal Dutch Shell is struggling to pay off $1 billion that it owes Iran for crude oil because European Union and U.S. financial sanctions now make it almost impossible to process payments, industry sources said
Four sources said the oil major owes a large sum to the National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) for deliveries of crude, with one putting the figure at close to $1 billion. A debt of that size would equate to roughly four large tanker loads of Iranian crude or about 8 million barrels.
“Shell is working hard to figure out a way to pay NIOC,” said an industry source, who requested anonymity. “It’s very sensitive and very difficult. They want to stay on good terms with Iran, while abiding by sanctions.”
A Shell spokesman declined to comment.
President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron discussed the possibility of releasing emergency oil reserves during a meeting on Wednesday, two sources familiar with the talks said, the first sign that Obama is starting to test global support for an effort to knock back near-record fuel prices. Obama raised the issue during a broad bilateral meeting at the White House, according to a UK official with knowledge of the discussion.
Asked about the talks, a senior Obama administration official said: “No agreement was reached. We will continue to work together to address energy security and oil price issues.” While U.S. officials have said for weeks that they will consider all possible measures - including a release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) - to prevent prices from derailing a nascent economic recovery, Wednesday’s meeting was the clearest indication that diplomatic talks were moving ahead. Discussions could last as long as several months before any decision is made, one of the sources said.
Obama’s approval ratings have come under pressure from rising gasoline prices, which have hit seasonal record highs, and the White House is eager to show exasperated Americans that it is doing all it can to keep fuel costs in check.
Read more: Obama, Cameron discuss tapping oil reserves
Russia’s members of Emergency Situation Ministry and Interior Ministry officers work at the site of a damaged nine-story building in Russia’s southern city of Astrakhan February 27, 2012.
The building collapsed after a household gas explosion and injuring 12 people, according to preliminary information released by local media. [REUTERS/Vitaly Loyanich]
Iran’s Oil Ministry denied state media reports on the Islamic state stopping its crude exports to six European countries on Wednesday.
“We deny this report … If such a decision is made, it will be announced by Iran’s Supreme National Security Council,” a spokesman for the ministry told Reuters.
Iran’s English language Press TV had earlier said Tehran has stopped exporting oil to France, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Netherlands and Spain.