Libya's Sharara oil field is "working normally" and the situation at the field is stable following security breaches last week, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement on Wednesday.
The security breaches involved the theft of cars and mobile phones on the roads linking the field to surrounding oil and gas facilities.
An engineer working at Sharara said the breaches had hampered operations, causing a drop off in production of at least 130,000 bpd.
The NOC statement was issued after Chairman Mustafa Sanalla visited Sharara with other senior oil officials seeking to reassure workers about their safety and security.
"There were discussions about fixed and mobile security points and the necessity of reviewing security positions based on a risk analysis," the statement said.
It reiterated previous NOC statements that the security breaches were the result of individual actions and that the perpetrators had been punished. It said that two missing cars had been tracked.
NOC operates Sharara in partnership with oil companies Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil .
Sharara's production is key to a revival in Libya's oil output, which surged to above 1 million bpd in late June, about four times higher than its level last summer.
(Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged up early on Thursday, clawing back some ground after losses in the previous session.
Brent crude futures, LCOc1 the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $50.43 per barrel at 0101 GMT, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $46.88 a barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.
The slight gains followed a more than 1 percent fall in the previous session.
Data published late on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that commercial U.S. crude oil stocks C-STK-T-EIA have fallen by almost 13 percent from their peaks in March to 466.5 million barrels, well below this time last year.
"If inventory declines continue at this pace, stocks will fall back below the five-year average in around two months," said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.
"The pace of the declines indicates that the OPEC production cuts are having an effect, although the current oil price suggests that the market is skeptical about the longer-term prospects for rebalancing of the oil market," he added.
ANZ bank said the market on Wednesday seemed "to focus on the rise in (U.S.) production", which jumped by 79,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.5 million bpd last week, its highest level since July 2015, and 12.75 percent above the most recent low in mid-2016. C-OUT-T-EIA
Some traders said that the soaring U.S. output is eroding efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries which, together with non-OPEC producers like Russia, has pledged to restrict output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018 to tighten the market and prop up prices.
Brent prices are down by almost 12 percent since the start of the cuts in January.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by declining U.S. crude inventories, although markets were still restrained by general oversupply.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $51.07 per barrel at 0620 GMT, up 27 cents or 0.5 percent from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $47.75 a barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.4 percent.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 9.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 11 to 469.2 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.
That compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 3.1 million barrels.
"The market took this as a mildly bullish report," said William O'Loughlin of Australia's Rivkin Securities.
However, gasoline stocks climbed by 301,000 barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a 1.1 million barrel decline. More broadly, analysts said ample supplies were preventing prices from moving much higher.
"Excessive supply... is continuing to weigh on oil prices... Not a lot has changed despite the OPEC and Russia efforts recently. While these producers have tried to limit their oil output, U.S. shale oil continues to rise," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries together with non-OPEC producers like Russia has pledged to restrict output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018.
Offsetting much of that effort, however, U.S. oil production has soared by almost 12 percent since mid-2016 to 9.42 million bpd. C-OUT-T-EIA
"OPEC and Russia still face an uphill battle in reducing the global supply surplus in the face of growth in output elsewhere (U.S. shale oil, Libya, Nigeria) and less than compliant behaviour in their midst (Iraq, UAE)," French bank BNP Paribas said.
On the demand side, analysts see a gradual slowdown in consumption growth.
In the United States, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said gasoline demand was already peaking due to improving fuel efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles.
In China, state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said on Wednesday that gasoline demand would likely peak around 2025 and outright oil consumption would top out around 2030.
This means that oil demand from the world's two biggest consumers may soon stall, while consumption has already peaked in Europe and Japan.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin
Libya’s biggest oil field, Sharara, is increasing production and the Zueitina port is again allowing tankers to load, paving the way for the OPEC nation’s crude output to rebound.
Libya wants to boost crude production as much as possible because it’s still exempt from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ agreement to cut supplies through March. Output climbed to a three-year high of 1.02 million barrels a day in July, the third consecutive monthly gain, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
The supply gains from Libya have contributed to restraining crude prices in 2017, with Brent oil futures in London down about 10 percent since the start of the year.
Aframax Atlas Voyager, which was set to complete loading 370,000 barrels of crude from Zueitina after loading from Ras Lanuf port, will be allowed to finish its cargo, Abridan said by phone on Tuesday. Workers were promised their demands will be met, he said. They include getting 20 months of back pay, health insurance, annual leave, overtime and more port maintenance.
Security breaches at Sharara were an “individual action” and the field is secure, Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. said in a statement Sunday. The field has experienced several brief shutdowns in recent months, including a two-day closure in June due to a protest by workers. Pumping was interrupted for “hours” last week after armed protesters shut some facilities.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday after sharp falls the session before to the lowest in about three weeks as a stronger U.S. dollar and a drop in Chinese refining runs hit the market.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were up 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $47.66 a barrel.
Oil prices tumbled more than 2.5 percent on Monday in volatile trade as the dollar strength and the demand concerns in China, the world's second-largest oil user, weighed on sentiment. A stronger dollar tends to limit the demand for oil for buyers paying in other currencies. Both Brent and WTI had reached two-month highs on Aug. 10.
"Stale speculative long positioning and a reluctance to hold unprofitable positions has been the main force behind the oil rally running out of steam over the last few sessions," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.
Chinese oil refineries operated in July at their lowest daily rates since September 2016, official data showed on Monday, to ease brimming inventories as state-owned oil giants faced off independents in a retail petrol price war.
Analysts said the drop was steeper than expected, exacerbating concerns that a glut of refined fuel products could weaken Chinese demand for oil.
The dollar firmed on Tuesday after North Korea's leader signalled that he would delay plans to fire a missile near Guam, further easing tensions and prompting investors to move back into riskier assets.
The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, climbed 0.4 percent on Monday and was up 0.1 percent on Tuesday.
Oil prices had earlier on Monday been supported by reports that Libya's top oilfield had cut its output by 30 percent on security concerns.
Efforts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers to limit output have helped lift Brent past $50 a barrel, but concerns remain that these efforts could be undermined by producers in the U.S. and other countries.
U.S. shale oil production is expected to grow for its ninth consecutive month in September to 6.15 million barrels per day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.
"Brent oil may fall more to $50.09 per barrel," said Reuters technical commodities analyst Wang Tao, citing charts showing Brent's wave pattern and a Fibonacci ratio analysis.
Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger
French government technical expertise organisation Expertise France is planning to set up a microfinance system in Libya backed by local partners. The purpose is to provide finance to Libyans who do not have access to traditional forms of loans.
The project is being advised by French microfinance organisation ADIE, founded in 1989 and which has since set up affiliates in Tunisia, Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg and Kosovo.
A spokesperson for ADIE said the loans would not exceed LD between LD 2,000 to LD 7,500 per entrepreneur in the first year, rising to a maximum of LD 25,000 by year three if the project was proving successful. No interest would be levied, although a commission of 15 percent would be charged by the operators to cover their services. They would purchase goods on behalf of the entrepreneur.
According to ADIE, LD 7.5 million would have to be raised for the Libya project: LD 5.3 million for the disbursements over the three years and LD 2.2 million to cover costs.
Three microfinance centres would be set up, the first in Tripoli, a second in the east of the country and the third in the south.
In addition, France Expertise and its Libyan partners (which have still to be found) would provide clients access to business counselling and training free of charge, but would need to find microfinance technicians to teach clients how to effectively run a business within the context of the Libyan setting.
After the first year, ADIE hopes that a million dinars in loans will have been provided to 225 people. By the end of the second year, it expect to see a sharp rise, with 1,000 entrepreneurs being helped with loans, and by the end of the third year 1,400 people with loans totalling LD 5 million.
National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla was in Tobruk yesterday to assess the future of the Higher Petroleum Institute which used to be Libya’s main institution for training oil engineers.
The NOC, however, wants to see it operating again and in June set up a committee headed by Shaaban Agha to carry out feasibility studies regarding its reopening. These include the costs involved and whether the existing buildings are fit for purpose or a new centre needs to be built.
In his meeting yesterday in Tobruk with Agha and committee member Abdullah Al-Hadad, Sanalla confirmed NOC’s intention to reactivate the institute as soon as possible. They discussed the obstacles involved, and the whether or not the institute should continue as before or be developed in other ways.
The committee’s ideas on the use of the existing buildings at the institute’s current location were presented, but it was oted that maintenance work was needed. Alternatives also needed to be evaluated.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Monday as a slowdown in Chinese refining activity growth cast doubts over its crude demand outlook, while rising U.S. shale output suggested supplies would likely remain high.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $48.74 a barrel, down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent.
Chinese refineries processed 0.4 percent more crude oil in July than a year earlier at 45.5 million tonnes, or about 10.71 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.
This would be the lowest amount on a daily basis since September 2016, according to Reuters calculations based on official data. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that it expects 2017 oil demand growth of 1.5 million bpd, up from a previous expectation of 1.4 million bpd.
Overall, markets remain well supplied thanks to strong output.
"Demand is outperforming expectations amongst both developed and emerging markets... However, global crude inventories remain bloated and there are considerable uncertainties heading into 2018," BMI Research said in a note, including the possibility of rising supplies.
Shale production in the largest U.S. oilfield should rise by as much as 300,000 bpd by December, according to industry forecasts.
Oil production from the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico is closely watched because its low costs and rapid growth have pressured efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain a global crude supply glut.
U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second time in the last three weeks, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices.
Drillers added 3 rigs looking for new oil in the week to Aug. 11 bringing the total count up to 768, the most since April 2015, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin
Tripoli, 10 August 2017(Lana) The President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord discussed with the Korean Ambassador return of Korean companies to complete suspended contracted projects.
On his part, the Korean Ambassador said companies were interested in returning to work in Libya, to help alleviate the power shortage in the country.
SEOUL (Reuters) - Oil prices fell nearly 1 percent on Friday to hit two-week lows, dragged lower by persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 44 cents, or 0.91 percent, at $48.15 per barrel, reaching the lowest since July 26.
Oil prices touched 2-1/2 month highs on Thursday, but retreated to close down around 1.5 percent, with U.S. prices slipping back below $50 per barrel amid ongoing oversupply concerns.
"Crude oil prices failed to hold recent gains, with a nervous market starting to doubt recent falls in inventories," ANZ bank said in a note.
"Supply-side issues also weighed on prices, with data showing Libyan production in July hit its highest level for the year." Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
"I think the issue that is affecting the market is the general risk sentiment of saber-rattling between Washington and Pyongyang," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.
Official data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, fell sharply by 6.5 million barrels in the week ending to Aug. 4, as refiners ramped up run rates to the highest in 12 years due to strong demand. But doubts remain over whether enough crude would be consumed to end a global glut after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported on Thursday another increase in the oil cartel's production, even though it raised outlook for oil demand in 2018.
OPEC said its oil output rose by 173,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) in July to 32.87 million bpd.
Faced with lingering global glut woes, OPEC and some non-OPEC members including Russia in May extended oil production cuts to reduce 1.8 million bpd.
Meanwhile, Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft is considering resuming production in mature fields after the OPEC-led production cut agreement, a representative of the company said on Thursday.
Rising output from Nigeria and Libya is further undermining the oil producers' attempt to limit oil production. Nigeria and Libya are exempted from curbing output as they seek to restore supplies hurt by internal conflicts.
Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford
The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has been looking today at what it can do through its own efforts to restore damaged and decaying oil production infrastructure and by extension what work will need to undertaken by outside companies.
According to NOC they looked at how the entire infrastructure had deteriorated since 2011. Jowfe presented an assessment of damage and deterioration that needed to be repaired and the maintenance that had to be carried out at every level. This also covered the acquisition and warehousing of spare parts.
Ed-dersi explained that Jowfe was currently re-establishing its Benghazi operation which included refurnishing its offices in the city so employees could return to work. He said that the Benghazi authorities had been helpful and encouraging with the renewal of licences, commercial registration and the re-activation of banking relations.
Sanalla thanked Ed-dersi and everyone at Jowfe for their efforts and promised to support the company, while at the same time urging it to speed up its return to normal operations.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil futures inched down on Thursday despite official figures showing U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected, with an analyst saying the market had settled into a range.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 3 cents at $49.52, after rising to $49.69 earlier. The contract gained 0.8 percent in the previous session.
"We have settled into a range. The U.S. dollar is slightly stronger, which may be creating a bit of negativity, but broadly I think the market is trading sideways at the moment," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.
U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week as refineries boosted output to the highest percentage of capacity in 12 years, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
U.S. oil inventories USOILC=ECI dropped by 6.5 million barrels last week, the government data showed, steeper than the expected decrease of 2.7 million barrels.
"It does create the hope that we are going to end the summer driving season with inventories below the year before, which would be a positive development," Spooner said.
Refiners processed nearly 17.6 million barrels of crude, surpassing a record set in May and the most for any week since the U.S. Department of Energy started keeping data in 1982. [EIA/S]
But a surprise increase in gasoline stocks is capping gains in oil prices and tempering attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers to boost prices that are about half of levels three years ago.
They are cutting output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) under an agreement set to run until March 2018.
The deal has supported prices but a recovery in output in Libya and Nigeria, OPEC members exempt from the cut, has also complicated the initiative.
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford
TOKYO (Reuters) - Crude futures fell for a third day on Wednesday despite a bigger than expected fall in U.S. oil inventories reported by an industry group, with doubts lingering over OPEC's ability to restrain supply as promised.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 was down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.02 a barrel, after falling 0.4 percent on Tuesday.
Crude stockpiles in the U.S. dropped more than expected last week as imports declined and refinery runs increased, while gasoline inventories increased unexpectedly, the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday.
Crude inventories declined by 7.8 million barrels in the week to 478.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. [API/S]
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, it trimmed its forecast for gains in U.S. oil production for 2018, though it increased its outlook for output growth this year.
"Oil is stuck in a range of $45-$50 for WTI and a bit more for Brent," said Bob Takai, president at Sumitomo Corp Global Research in Tokyo. "U.S. shale is slowing down a bit looking at the rig count as they cannot make money when oil is under $50."
The market seems immune to bullish signs of falling stockpiles as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers struggle to maintain compliance with a deal to cut output.
A recovery in Libya's oil output and higher production in Nigeria have complicated OPEC's efforts to curb supply, while U.S. shale oil drillers have ramped up production.
Libya and Nigeria are OPEC countries that are exempt from the agreement to limit production through March 2018.
Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee said on Tuesday that they expect greater adherence to the pact to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.
Saudi state oil company Aramco will cut allocations to its customers worldwide in September by at least 520,000 barrels per day (bpd), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.
"With only a few weeks left of the U.S. summer driving season, investors are starting to debate whether the current OPEC production cuts will offset the subsequent falls in demand in North America," ANZ Research said in a note.
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford
Oil prices slipped in Asian trading on Tuesday following a recovery in output at Libya's largest oil field and as doubts about OPEC-led production cuts continue to drag.
U.S. crude futures CLc1 were down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $49.32 a barrel, having fallen 0.4 percent on Monday.
Production from Libya's 270,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption when armed protesters broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday.
Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like Russia.
The recovery of the North African country's output has complicated OPEC's efforts to curb supply, fuelling doubts over the effectiveness of the production cuts. Libya churned out 1.03 million bpd in July, according to the latest Reuters survey.
OPEC output hit a 2017-high in July and its exports marked a record.
Still, Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, plans to cut supplies to most buyers in Asia by as much as 10 percent in September, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Asian buyers have been mostly shielded from the cuts until now.
Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways to boost compliance with the deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.
"Assuming that nothing comes from OPEC/non-OPEC's technical meeting in Abu Dhabi today, oil's near term fate will most likely be determined by the official U.S. Department of Energy inventory data tomorrow evening Asia time," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration, part of the Energy Department, will releases its weekly petroleum status report at 1430 GMT on Wednesday, giving details on stockpiles and refinery runs.
U.S. crude inventories were expected to post their sixth straight weekly decline last week, while refined product stockpiles likely fell too, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. [EIA/S]
Later on Tuesday the American Petroleum Institute, will release its own report on stockpiles and refinery throughput.
Oil output in the United States has remained high, although Baker Hughes data on Friday showed a cut of one drilling rig in the week to Aug. 4. RIG-OL-USA-BHI
Elsewhere, crude oil imports to China for the January to July period rose 13.6 percent from the year ago period to 247 million tonnes, customs data showed on Tuesday.
Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Joseph Radford
The state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) and German energy giant Siemens signed an MoU last Saturday in Germany that would pave the way for the return of the German company to Libya to complete its many outstanding projects.
Well-placed sources told Libya Herald that Siemens has been able to ‘‘establish a close relationship between the German and Libyan governments’’. The recent meeting in Germany ‘‘focused on how Siemens supports GECOL in achieving stability of generation transmission’’. The agreement signed ‘‘covers GECOL priorities and support that Siemens will provide especially with regards to fast-tracking the projects and giving high priorities to the service needs’’.
The sources said that Siemens engineers had already performed ‘‘several visits to (power plants at) Sarir, Benghazi and Misrata to bring existing units back to full capacity on to the grid prior to the signature of this agreement’’. The Ubari plant is also ‘‘clarified and in the final phase of commissioning soon’’.
Asked if there were any possible sticking points to the implementation of the agreement, the sources said that there were none ‘‘except funding which is being clarified between GECOL and the Central Bank (of Libya)’’.
It is not clear if this agreement will indeed lead to increased power generation and hence a reduction of power cuts across Libya. The Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council/Government of National Accord had promised that power cuts would be reduced this year. However, as temperatures have risen this summer, acute power cuts – including some total blackouts have already hit the country.
The main obstacles to foreign technicians from all companies have been security and payment. Some companies used to working in high risk zones have indicated that they can mitigate some security risks, which leaves the issue of payment of outstanding monies.
The collapse in world crude oil prices and the fall in Libya’s oil production has reduced the Libyan state’s revenues. Libya is operating on a recurring annual budget deficit and its annual revenues fail to cover even state-sector salaries. It is surviving by dipping into fast diminishing foreign currency reserves.
However, fighting around the main oilfields has stopped and the National Oil Corporation has succeeded in increasing oil production in 2017 to above the one million barrels per day mark. This should give the Libyan authorities some leeway if they decide to prioritise power generation by diverting much need scarce foreign currency to foreign electricity contractors
Oil prices edged lower on Monday but still held near nine-week highs, supported by robust U.S. jobs data last week and a slight fall in the U.S. drill rig count, even as rising output from OPEC capped crude markets.
Prices for both benchmarks have been on the rise, holding near their highest since late May, when oil producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended a deal to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next March.
"Crude oil prices rose strongly as investors viewed (U.S. jobs) data as a positive sign for oil demand in the United States ... A small fall in the number of drill rigs operating in the U.S. also supported prices," ANZ bank said in a note.
U.S. employers added an above-forecast 209,000 workers in July and raised wages, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday in its monthly jobs report.
U.S. drillers cut one oil rig in the week to Aug. 4, bringing the total count down to 765, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE.N) also said on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI
Still, the U.S. rig count has been trending upwards since mid-May, and oil production in the United States hit 9.43 million bpd in the week to July 28, the highest level since August 2015. C-OUT-T-EIA
Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said, supportive news such as big drawdown in U.S. supplies would be needed to push U.S. WTI prices above $50 a barrel.
"This week, weekly data out of the U.S. should be really influential .... if (U.S. daily production) makes further gains given the high prices, I think that would be a catalyst for downside news," McCarthy said.
Meanwhile, OPEC's crude oil exports in July rose to a record high of 26.11 million bpd, most of which came from Nigeria, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research last week.
Libya, though, one of the OPEC members who has been exempt from the OPEC-led production cuts, was facing a gradual shutdown of its 270,000-bpd Sharara oil field after the closure of a control room.
Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are set to meet in Abu Dhabi on Monday and on Tuesday to discuss ways to boost compliance with their supply reduction agreement.
Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue
As part of Benghazi’s normalisation, plans are in hand to reopen the Suq Al-Arab market complex between Sabri and Salmani, possibly as early as next week.
Yesterday, the head of Benghazi’s municipal guard, which monitors traders and their businesses, met with a group of merchants and members of the Benghazi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organise its reopening.
The move follows an instruction from acting mayor of Benghazi Elabbar to set up a committee to oversee its rehabilitation and return to daily use.
Tripoli, 3 August 2017(Lana) The General Electricity Company of Libya 'GECOL' has signed an agreement with the German Siemens AG Company to resolve the problem of power demand in Libya.
As part of efforts to find radical solutions to the problem of growing power demand, and to ease the power outages on Libyan cities , the 'GECOL' and Siemens have reached an agreement to provide power for Libya.
The signing was attended by the GNA Minister of Foreign Mohamed Siala and the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gibriel, the Office said.
Oil markets dipped on Friday, with U.S. crude remaining below $50 per barrel, restrained by rising output from the United States as well as producer club OPEC.
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.93 a barrel, down 8 cents, or 0.15 percent, from their last close and around 70 cents for the week.
Traders said prices were being pulled down by rising output, although strong demand prevented bigger drops.
"Developments this week have seen some pessimism return to markets," National Australia Bank said in its August outlook. "We forecast Brent to trade at around $53 per barrel in Q4 2017," it said.
British bank Barclays said "we expect a downward (price) correction during this quarter," but see Brent at an average of $54 per barrel during the fourth quarter.
Crude oil exports by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) rose to a record high in July, driven largely by soaring exports from the group's African members, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research this week.
July's 26.11 million barrels per day (bpd) in exports marked a rise of 370,000 bpd, most of which came from Nigeria, which posted a rise of 260,000 bpd in shipments.
In the United States, oil production has hit 9.43 million bpd, the highest since August 2015 and up 12 percent from its most recent low in June last year. C-OUT-T-EIA
"Quarterly reporting season has seen a swathe of (U.S.) shale producers announce aggressive production targets, despite weak prices as they cut costs and become more efficient," ANZ bank said on Friday.
Strong demand is still preventing prices from falling.
U.S. gasoline demand rose to 9.842 million bpd last week, the highest since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting the data in 1991, the federal agency reported this week.
"Gasoline demand is now +0.1 percent (year-on-year). This is reasonably encouraging given it had been flat or negative since late November 2016," U.S. investment bank Jefferies said.
"Gasoline inventories in the U.S. fell for the seventh consecutive week ... and are now only 6.3 million barrels above the 5-year average," it said. [EIA/S]
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Tom Hogue