News 

Start of I-96 closure, crashes cause delays during morning commute

“GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The first morning commute without full access to eastbound I-96 in northern Grand Rapids this year had its share of hiccups” writes Justin P for mlive.com. The closure on eastbound I-96, which is expected to continue through late June, caused added traffic congestion on southbound U.S. 131, eastbound I-196, Alpine Avenue and Plainfield Avenue, among other roads.”Typically we see longer delays and bigger backups the first few days or even a week after a closure before things even out.”. MDOT officials suggest that eastbound drivers take U.S.…

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News Oil 

Asian oil demand to hit record, but industry can’t take eyes off Middle East

“Worries about “trade wars and fears that higher oil prices will start to weigh on demand growth … are overdone,” it said” reports businessinsider.com. Several traders said more such outages are due in May and June, likely reducing China’s crude imports in coming months.Suresh Sivanandam of energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said he expected China’s overall oil demand to grow by 370,000 bpd this year to 12.78 million bpd.The record comes despite maintenance season, which usually dents imports at this time of year, and indicates that China’s oil requirement is bigger…

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Siemens is expanding in the Middle East with a $500 million internet of things investment

“German multinational Siemens is expanding its already sizeable Middle East presence by investing in the digital sphere, to the tune of $500 million over the next three years” writes Natasha Turak for cnbc.com. “We see vast potential for the adoption of digital technologies in the Middle East and want to support the region’s transformation in various ways, ranging from youth development to setting up our MindSphere Application Centers.”.  Source: cnbc.com Share This:

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Futures Markets News Oil 

Oil Prices Drop as Fears About Syria Strikes Fallout Wane

“Brent crude oil futures LCOc1 were down 74 cents at $71.84 a barrel by 11 a.m” writes Jessica Resnick-ault for reuters.com. Because the attacks were more surgical than anticipated in more extreme scenarios, the market has shrugged off bullish factors, he said. “It has got everything to possibly boost it: weak dollar, Syria, potential sanctions, White House uncertainty, China trade,” he said. Even the imposition of unilateral sanctions by the U.S. government could hamper exports of oil from Iran, one of the world’s largest producers. “Oil is still holding relatively…

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Polymetal swaps assets with Russian Copper Co.

“Polymetal International PLC (POLY.LN) said Monday that it will swap its Tarutin gold deposit in Russia for 85% of Russian Copper Co.’s copper-gold East Tarutin deposit in Kazakhstan” writes Maryam Cockar for marketwatch.com. Gold producer Polymetal said it will receive 85% of LLP Tarutinskoye–the license holder for the East Tarutin deposit–in exchange for transferring 100% of Vostochny Basis LLC, the license holder for the Tarutin deposit, to Russian Copper Co.Polymetal said the exchange provides synergies to both parties as it improves the logistics of the existing processing facilities.The asset swap…

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German software giant SAP predicts new business in Middle East — and credits Saudi Arabia

“Therefore, our investment into a local data center right in the Kingdom absolutely was strategic, and we have a great growth plan behind this,” he added” writes Saheli Roy Choudhury for cnbc.com. “We have strong hopes for our business in Saudi Arabia.”. Last year, SAP said it was launching a cloud hub in the country by partnering with the Saudi Ministry of Communication and Information Technology. Source: cnbc.com Share This:

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East Timor has some of the world’s richest reefs. Can it profit safely?

“But 16 years after gaining its independence after decades of bloody occupation, East Timor remains the poorest country in Southeast Asia” writes Ben C for seattletimes.com. Tiny East Timor is surrounded by some of the most magnificent and untouched marine life in the world.But discussions on where the oil will be pumped continue, and East Timor is struggling to find jobs for the growing population.Off the island of Atauro alone, researchers have discovered 253 reef fish species, surpassing the world record. Source: seattletimes.com Share This:

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Oil prices could rally to $100 a barrel if Middle East tensions ‘really kick off,’ analyst says

“Oil prices could soon skyrocket to more than $100 a barrel amid escalating tensions in the Middle East, one oil analyst told CNBC Friday” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. “I don’t think its unfeasible to see triple-digit oil prices at some point this year if things really kick off in the Middle East,” Anish Kapadia, founder and managing director of Akap Energy, told CNBC’s “Street Signs” on Friday. Source: cnbc.com Share This:

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Major oil agency is unconvinced that Syria tensions will propel prices higher

“Oil prices have soared amid worries about fighting in the Middle East, but it is not yet clear whether elevated tensions will continue to support the recent rally, according to the latest monthly report from the International Energy Agency (IEA)” writes unknown author for cnbc.com. “It remains to be seen if recently elevated prices are sustained and if so what are the implications for the market demand and supply dynamics,” the Paris-based organization added.Crude futures surged to highs not seen since December 2014 Wednesday, underpinned by greater geopolitical uncertainty in…

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