Oil rises as Libyan oilfields shut down

LONDON/TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil costs rose to their highest in additional than week on Monday after two massive crude manufacturing bases in Libya started shutting down amid a army blockade, risking lowering crude flows from the OPEC member to a trickle.

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks function at sundown in Midland, Texas, U.S., February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 37 cents, or 0.6%, at $65.22 by 0952 GMT, having earlier touched $66 a barrel, the best since Jan. 9.

The West Texas Intermediate CLc1 contract was 24 cents, or 0.4%, larger at $58.78 a barrel, after rising to $59.73, the best since Jan. 10.

Two main oilfields in southwest Libya started shutting down on Sunday after forces loyal to Khalifa Haftar closed a pipeline, doubtlessly slicing nationwide output to a fraction of its regular degree, the Nationwide Oil Company (NOC) mentioned.

The closure, which follows a blockade of main jap oil ports, risked taking nearly all of the nation’s oil output offline

Nonetheless, the sooner rise in oil costs eased after some analysts and merchants mentioned provide disruptions in Libya might be offset by different producers, limiting the affect on international markets.

“The oil market stays effectively equipped with ample shares and a wholesome spare capability cushion. In different phrases, the bullish value affect could show to be fleeting,” mentioned Stephen Brennock of oil dealer PVM.

Takashi Tsukioka, president of the Petroleum Affiliation of Japan (PAJ), additionally advised a information convention that oil costs could fluctuate because of the newest incidents, however “we don’t have to fret an excessive amount of about demand and provide steadiness as OPEC can cowl shortfalls.”

If Libyan exports are halted for any sustained interval, storage tanks will fill inside days and manufacturing will gradual to 72,000 barrels per day (bpd), an NOC spokesman mentioned. Libya has been producing round 1.2 million bpd just lately.

“A chronic disruption from Libya could be sufficient to swing the worldwide oil market from surplus to deficit in 1Q20,” mentioned ING analyst Warren Patterson, referring to the primary quarter of 2020.

The EU’s high diplomat Josep Borrell mentioned on Monday the European Union will focus on all methods to uphold a proper ceasefire in Libya however any peace settlement would want actual EU help to make it maintain.

International powers agreed at a summit in Berlin on Sunday to shore up a shaky truce in Libya which has been in turmoil for the reason that fall of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Reporting by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin in London, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo; Modifying by Kirsten Donovan

Our Requirements:The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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