Energy news in brief

** Iraq’s military on Saturday said explosives experts with its naval forces successfully dismantled a mine that was discovered stuck to an oil tanker in the Persian Gulf two days earlier. No group has claimed responsibility for placing the mine.

** Gazpromneft, the oil subsidiary of Russia’s natural gas giant Gazprom, opened a venue for cryptocurrency mining on one of its oil drilling sites in Siberia, unlocking the power of Russia’s oil and gas resources for the needs of bitcoin mining.

** A week after President Donald Trump’s administration was mocked for creating new rules on showerheads amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a group of environmental organizations sued the Department of Energy over what they’re calling another “senseless” rule on dishwashers.

** Daimler AG’s North American truck unit agreed to a $30 million U.S. civil penalty to resolve an investigation of delayed recalls, the second time since late 2019 the German automaker has agreed to settle a probe by U.S. auto safety regulators.

** Azerbaijan started commercial natural gas exports last week to Europe via the U.S.-backed Southern Gas Corridor, helping the region to diversify supplies away from Russia. Gas pumped from the BP Plc-led Shah Deniz deposit in the Caspian Sea began flowing into Italy, Greece and Bulgaria on Thursday, BP and Azerbaijan’s state energy company Socar said in a joint statement.

** Cambodia prepares to begin its first crude oil production.  The country’s plan is to extract oil from the Gulf of Thailand oil fields in a joint project with Singapore’s KrisEnergy Ltd, a plan that has seen several years of delays. The development was announced by Prime Minister Hun Sen on social media.

** Data from China’s General Administration of Customs show oil imports for January to November 2020 grew by 9.1% year over year to an average of 13.5 million barrels daily. The top five suppliers of crude oil to China during the period were Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iraq, Brazil, and Angola.

** Iranian energy companies have agreed deals worth $1.2 billion to raise the nation’s crude output, state-run National Iranian Oil Co. said. The signings will take place Monday in the presence of Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh in Tehran, NIOC said in a statement.

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