WorldOil Iraq walks away from $2B upfront oil deal with China Prepayment deals are rare in the oil world and this was meant to improve Iraq’s financial situation. While the government is still struggling, its position has improved on soaring oil prices, largely thanks to the rollout of coronavirus vaccines. China helps Brent crude oil prices pass $60 milestone It’s another milestone in a stellar comeback from the biggest demand destruction in a generation after the pandemic forced countries to lock down, devastated economies and grounded planes. West Texas Intermediate futures increased 0.3% on Tuesday, rising every day this month and taking gains to 11%. Global oil supply imbalance shrinks China’s crude reserves Inventories capped a seventh weekly decline last week, dropping to 990 million barrels, according to market intelligence firm Kayrros. Millions of barrels of sanctioned Venezuelan crude finding their way to China The cat-and-mouse games that avoid detection and sanctions include ship-to-ship transfers, shell companies and silenced satellite signals. But there’s another aspect to the dodge. It involves “doping” the oil with chemical additives and changing its name in the paperwork so it can be sold as a wholly different crude without a trace of its Venezuelan roots. Trelleborg awarded contract by Torgy LNG AS to provide NjordGuard cable protection for Jiangsu Qidong Offshore Wind Project in China Trelleborg’s NjordGuard cable protection system will protect inter array grid power cables on the project from over-bending, abrasion, and fatigue. U.S. blacklists CNOOC for “bullying” in the South China Sea China National Offshore Oil Corp. has for years drilled in waters far from its borders, and within 200 miles of countries including Vietnam and the Philippines. The activity amounts to the oil giant acting like a “bully” for China’s military to intimidate its neighbors, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in a statement announcing the move, which restricts access to U.S. technologies without specific permission. Asian oil refiners target European crude as Saudi output falls There have been signs across the oil market of traders expecting tighter supplies following the Saudi cuts. The shape of the Brent futures curve returned to backwardation earlier this week, meaning more immediate prices are trading at premiums. U.S. stock exchange may delist Chinese oil companies China’s Ministry of Commerce said the country would take necessary action to protect the rights of Chinese companies, and that it hoped the two countries could work together to create a fair and predictable environment for businesses and investors. Iraq signs $2B oil prepayment deal with China’s ZenHua Oil It’s the first time Baghdad has sought a prepayment deal, in which oil is effectively used as security for a loan. It’s also the latest example of China lending to struggling oil producers via state-controlled trading companies and banks. China eyes energy security with $6.3 billion pipeline consolidation deal The deal is part of an effort by President Xi Jinping’s government to consolidate the nation’s major pipelines and other midstream facilities into a single firm, intended to boost competition among drillers and downstream oil and gas sellers.