Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and 10 US governors sent a joint letter to President Barack Obama urging him to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

In the letter, sent to the president on the eve of his inauguration, the premier and governors note that the pipeline is "fundamentally important to the future economic prosperity of both the United States and Canada."

"We need greater pipeline capacity to move the oil - Canadian and American - that is vital to our shared goal of North American energy security," said Wall in a press release.

The president is expected to rule on a revised application by TransCanada (TSX:TRP,NYSE:TRP) in the first quarter of 2013.

A report from Israeli news agency Haaretz states that Israel has made a deal with South Sudan to purchase oil.

South Sudan's petroleum and mining minister, Dhieu Dau, announced the deal last week after returning from Israel, where he met with government officials.

Reports have not yet outlined which, if any, Israeli companies may be involved in developing oil projects, and there has not been any indication of how oil will be transported to Israel. South Sudan is landlocked, with the majority of oil exports going through a pipeline at Port Sudan. It is not clear if Sudan will allow tankers bound for Israel to dock at the port.

Oil Market Update (January 22, 2013) from Oil Investing News

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