An Open Invitation to Purchase of one (FM-200) Filling Station for Ras Lanuf

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Libya's National Oil Corporation has emptied oil storage tanks at the Ras Lanuf terminal as a precaution after Islamic State militants attacked the country's two biggest oil ports last week, an official from the company said on Monday.

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Reuters
Islamic State attacked the major Libyan oil terminals of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, which lie between the town of Sirte, which is controlled by Islamic State, and the eastern city of Benghazi.

The attacks triggered several days of clashes between militants and the Petroleum Facilities Guard and caused fires at five oil storage tanks in Es Sider and two others at the Ras Lanuf facility about 13 miles away.

The Petroleum Facilities Guard, which lost 18 of its members in the attacks and clashes, said the last of those fires were put out on Friday.

"We have taken all the oil stored in the tanks there (Ras Lanuf) to a safer location," Mohamed al-Manfi, an official at the National Oil Corporation in eastern Libya said.

Al-Manfi declined to give further details but he told Reuters last week that each of the oil tanks was estimated to contain 420,000 to 460,000 barrels of oil.

Libya is split between political factions and armed groups competing for power and for the country's oil wealth, four years after the revolt that toppled Muammar Gaddafi. Oil output has dwindled to less than one quarter of a 2011 high of 1.6 million barrels per day.

Islamic State has used the security vacuum to expand its presence in Libya, though it has not taken control of oil installations in the country.

The United Nations is trying to win support for a deal to form a national unity government in Libya, but the plan has faced resistance from members of the rival parliaments.

(This story corrects to say that official is based in eastern Libya (not in Tripoli) in paragraph five) (Reporting By Ayman al-Warfalli, writing by Aziz El Yaakoubi; Editing by Susan Fenton)
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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  12/01/20162016-01-12
Word count:  327

Crude oil prices continued a relentless dive early on Tuesday, falling almost 20 percent since the beginning of the year as analysts scrambled to cut their 2016 oil price forecasts and traders bet on further price falls.

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Reuters
U.S. crude West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 was trading at $30.66 per barrel at 0531 GMT on Tuesday, down 75 cents from the last settlement and about 20 percent lower than at the beginning of the year. Earlier it traded at $30.60, the lowest since December 2003.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell 83 cents to $30.72 a barrel. Earlier they declined to $30.66, their lowest since April 2004. Brent has fallen nearly 20 percent in January and, like WTI, has declined on every day of trading so far this year.

Trading data showed that managed short positions in WTI crude contracts, which would profit from a further fall in prices, are at a record high, implying that many traders expect further falls (see chart).

"It's going to be a very interesting year in oil," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. "The lower the price goes, the faster in time we are likely to form a base and recover."

Analysts also adjusted to the early price rout in the year, with Barclays, Macquarie, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Standard Chartered and Societe Generale all cutting their 2016 oil price forecasts on Monday.

"A marked deterioration in oil market fundamentals in early 2016 has persuaded us to make some large downward adjustments to our oil price forecasts for 2016," Barclays bank said.

"We now expect Brent and WTI to both average $37/barrel in 2016, down from our previous forecasts of $60 and $56, respectively," it added.

But it was Standard Chartered that took the most bearish view, stating that prices could drop as low as $10 a barrel. "Given that no fundamental relationship is currently driving the oil market toward any equilibrium, prices are being moved almost entirely by financial flows caused by fluctuations in other asset prices, including the USD and equity markets," the bank said.

"We think prices could fall as low as $10/bbl before most of the money managers in the market conceded that matters had gone too far," it added.

(Editing by Michael Perry and Christian Schmollinger)
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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  12/01/20162016-01-12
Word count:  40

Berlin, 11.01.2016 - Lana - Press reports in Germany said , that the German army is about to conduct anew abroad task to train element from the Libyan army.

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LANA - Libyan News Agency
The German 'Der Spiegel' magazine , Sunday , pointed out to an indoor plans , under which German soldiers of about 150-200 personnel , with the participation of Italian soldiers , will begin an undertaken task , initially in the neighboring Tunisia , for security considerations.

=Lana=

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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News

Crude oil prices fell over 2 percent on Monday as China's economic slowdown dented the outlook for demand and traders are placing record bets on even lower prices as they increasingly lose faith in a significant market recovery.

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Reuters
Global benchmark Brent LCOc1 was down 89 cents, almost over 2.6 percent, to $32.66 per barrel at 0319 GMT (10.19 p.m. ET on Monday), and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down about 2.3 percent to $32.39.

Monday's decline adds to last week's more than 10 percent drop in both Brent and WTI prices to start the year. Traders and investors have wondered how long and deep the slide may go with Goldman Sachs saying oil could hit $20 a barrel.

Goldman analysts further said in a note on Friday that sustained lower prices are needed to in the first quarter "so producers will move budgets down to reflect $40 a barrel oil for 2016."

Other oil market analysts are pointing to China's slowdown, which saw a slide in the yuan and two emergency suspensions in stock trading markets last week, as the main reasons for lower oil and commodity prices.

"China macro trends to remain in the driving seat for commodities," Singapore Exchange (SGX) said on Monday in its 2016 commodity outlook.

"With a slowing domestic economy, mounting deflationary pressures, rising capital outflows, growing credit risks, a continued nationwide anti-corruption drive and rising U.S. interest rates, there is perhaps plenty of scope for volatility to stage a return," SGX said.

Oil market speculators have increased their net-short positions, which would profit from prices falling lower, to a record high in the week to last Tuesday, in a sign that they are losing faith in a price rise anytime soon, a weekly report from a U.S. government agency that tracks commodity markets activity showed on Friday (see graphic).

At the same time speculators have cut their net-long positions to fewer than 50,000 contracts, or the equivalent of 50 million barrels, according to the trading data. Longs are bets on higher prices, while shorts are wagers that the market will fall. The net position squares off the two.

Oil prices have already fallen over 70 percent since the downturn began in mid-2014 as soaring global production sees hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude produced every day without a buyer, leaving storage tanks filled to the brim.

Adding to overproduction is slowing demand, especially in China where growth has dropped to its lowest rate in a generation and experts see few signs of improvement for the next few years.

"Chinese oil data are finally starting to reflect weak economic activity. Implied oil demand in China contracted 4.9 percent (537.3 thousand barrels per day) month-on-month and 2.0 percent (216.7 thousand barrels per day) year-on-year in November, the first decline since July 2014," Barclays bank said in a note late on Friday.

"We expect further compression in growth rates this year, with an average of 300 thousand barrels per day (2.7 percent)," it added.

(Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  11/01/20162016-01-11
Word count:  141

Tunisia, 10.01.2016 - Lana - The EU security and foreign policy commissioner 'Federica Moghorini' , declared that the EU had provided a one million Euros to help Libya in supporting security and stability in the country.

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LANA - Libyan News Agency
During a joint press conference with the candidate head of the accord government 'Faez Saraj' , on Friday evening in Tunisia , said that the EU will provide more humanitarian aid to Libya.

She also , renewed her call to all Libyan parties to confront terrorism , asserting that the security situation in Libya pose a "major threat" to deliver the aid. For his part , Saraj renewed his confirmation , that he would work to form the accord government within a specific timetable , pointing out on agreeing to activating the European aid package to Libya.

Saraj called on ; "the necessity to establish partnership among the Libyans in all economic and social sectors , monitoring the humanitarian aid and activating the European support package".

Federica Moghorini , had arrived in Tunisia , where she met with Saraj , and number of the presidential council members of the national government accord.

=Lana=
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Petrovic Dorde
7 months ago

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  08/01/20162016-01-08
Word count:  380

Gold climbed above $1,100 an ounce for the first time in nine weeks on Thursday as the dollar fell and investors channeled money into safer assets for a fourth straight day after worries about the Chinese economy hit global stocks.

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Reuters
Shares on major exchanges fell for a sixth consecutive day while crude oil prices bounced back from multiyear lows as volatile markets digested another move lower in the yuan and China's efforts to stabilize its sinking stock market.

"Gold's strength is probably going to be relatively short term, but there is an upside risk to gold, if the view that China is going to pull the whole world into recession becomes stronger," Citigroup metals strategist David Wilson said.

"But if the U.S. and Europe continue to grow, gold will go weaker ... Chinese stock markets had got massively over inflated because a lot of money piled into it and now people have come back to reality."

Spot gold rose to a nine-week high of $1,109.94 an ounce at one stage and was up 1.3 percent at $1,108.45 an ounce at 2:03 p.m. EST (1903 GMT). U.S. gold futures settled up 1.5 percent at $1,107.80 an ounce, also a nine-week high.

"PGMs on the other hand were heavily offered with palladium losing a big figure after a breakdown of $523.50 support," said Amaryllis Gryllaki, vice president of sales, Global Metals, for TD Securities, in a research note.

"Platinum follows and there is a stark absence of consumer interest at these fresh lows."

Palladium, however, which is more exposed to economic weakness because it is used as an autocatalyst metal, slipped to $481.67 an ounce, its lowest since August 2010. It followed weakness in crude oil and industrial metals.

"What is bad for most of the other commodities is currently good for gold, which is living up to his reputation as a safe haven," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said.

Bullion was also supported by a softer dollar and the release of the minutes of the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, assuring markets that U.S. interest rates would be increased only gradually this year.

Gold, often seen as an alternative investment during times of geopolitical and financial uncertainty, benefited from the risk-averse sentiment this week after tensions escalated in the Korean peninsula and flared in the Middle East.

China, the world's sixth-largest official sector gold holder, added more to its reserves in December.

Spot platinum dropped 0.3 percent to $873.30 an ounce. Silver rose 2.1 percent to $14.30 an ounce.

(Additional reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi in Singapore; Editing by David Goodman and James Dalgleish)
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  08/01/20162016-01-08
Word count:  363

Oil prices rose more than 2 percent on Friday, following China shares higher after Beijing deactivated a circuit breaker mechanism that was blamed for aggravating equity market crashes, although a persistent global crude surplus kept a lid on gains.

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Reuters
Oil prices plunged to 12-year lows in the previous session after China allowed its yuan currency to slip, sending stock markets tumbling globally. Beijing then suspended equities trading as the sharp falls triggered the circuit-breaking mechanism for a second time since its introduction this week.

"As Chinese equity markets started to recover today, the oil prices rallied much altogether," said Kang Yoo-jin, commodities analyst at NH Investment and Securities based in Seoul.

Chinese stocks were boosted as the yuan currency firmed in early trade after the People's Bank of China strengthened its official rate for the first time in nine trading days.

Tracking this, Brent LCOc1 rose 58 cents to $34.33 a barrel by 0327 GMT (10.27 p.m. ET Thursday), near an intraday high of $34.72. It was about $2 away from Thursday's $32.16, a level last seen in 2004.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) CLc1 was up 64 cents at $33.91 a barrel. In the prior session, it hit its lowest since late 2003 at $32.10.

While oil prices have bounced off lows, market participants remain unwilling to call an end to the slump.

This week's turmoil in Chinese markets has raised the risk of slowing demand from the world's No. 2 oil consumer, threatening to prolong an over year-long crude supply overhang.

OPEC's smallest member Ecuador, which has increased debt and reduced investments due to the oil price plunge, said it would continue to press for production cuts at the cartel's next meeting scheduled for June.

"With rising Middle East tensions now a distant memory, oil is likely to test the $30 a barrel level amid growing concerns on the impact of a weakening yuan on Chinese demand," ANZ said in a note on Friday.

Natixis said in a note that global demand should rise by 1.1 million barrels per day (bpd) versus 1.7 million bpd in 2015. According to chart-watching oil analysts, if prices do not rally hard on Friday, they seem doomed to drop below $30 for the first time since 2003. [MKTS/GLOB]

"While crude oil market outlooks are so pessimistic, the markets also have been dampened psychologically, with investors concerned of a crisis led by the Chinese economy," said the analyst from NH Investment and Securities.

(Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Himani Sarkar)
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Business News

Business News
Released:  08/01/20162016-01-08
Word count:  102

The Tunisian authorities have decided to allow Libyan carriers to land at a second regional Tunisian airport besides Sfax, but Tunis Carthage remains off-limits.

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Libya herald
The Civil Aviation Authority announced this week that Libyan aircraft will now also be permitted to fly into Hammamet, which is 61 kilometres from Tunis as opposed to Sfax, 236 kilometres from the Tunisian capital.

Hammamet is a modern airport developed to handle tourist numbers which have declined radically since the Barda Museun and Sousse murders.

No explanation has been given for the addition of an airport closer to Tunis. However many Libyan have protested the expense and inconvenience of the Sfax-Tunis journey though there is a reasonable rail connection. It is unclear when the first Libyan carriers will start to fly to Hammamet.
Comments:

Business News

Business News
Released:  07/01/20162016-01-07
Word count:  752

Brega Petroleum Marketing Co. intends to tendering construction (upgrade of fire-fighting system at Ras-Elmungar terminal) According to the international standards as well as to scope of work and requirements which are summarized in the following essential items:

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NOC
  • Supply and install 5,000 m3 F.F.W.T connected to the main water source.
  • Supply and install all  necessary pumps F.F.S included main pumps
    • A number of (2) electric pumps.
    • A number of (2) diesel pumps.
  • Supply and install coiling system and accessories included.
  • Supplyand installinjection foam system and accessories.
  • Supply and install hydrant surround the boundary wall.
  • Supply movable F.F. equipments.
  • Supply and install all required pipes sizes for the network included all necessary fitting.
  • Hydrostatic and all NDT tests.

 

Therefore, companies possessing relevant experience and registered in Libya with technical and financial capabilities are invited to express their interest in participation to execute this project by submitting their file for the pre-qualification according to the following terms and conditions:

  1. Fill the PQQ available via WWW.BREGA.LY/APP_FORM.XLSXand return via email HIGHERTENDERS@BREGA.LYand enclosed a hard copy with the company’s file.
  2. Provide organisation's articles of incorporationa cover letter expressing of interest to participate in the tender and the documents for the registration in Libya (Official evidence attesting registration at the commerce registration office, valid business license, and valid tax clearance certificate).
  3. Provide the financial status for the last) 3( years (20112-013-2014) authenticated by legal auditor.
  4. Provide previous experience of similar scope of work.
  5. Provide list of technical crew and company’s equipment.
  6. Full address of company headquarter and its branches, telephone, Fax numbers, email and website address.
    • Important Notes:
  7. Only officially assigned representative will be dealt with.
  8. Documents shall be submitted to the Secretary of the High Tenders Committee in a sealed envelope addressed to Brega Petroleum Marketing Co. High Tenders Committee office, located at Tripoli International Airport Road, Brega’s Finance department building, Tripoli, near Tripoli Oil Terminal .
  9. The invitation to participation in the tender and handing over specification and general terms and conditions documents only to companies that found qualified by pre-qualification evaluation final result.

The closing date for submission is at 12:00pm on Monday 08/02/2016

Anysubmitted file without the required documents will be rejected.

For any quarries please contact High Tenders Committee:

 

Tel. 021 362 0110fax  :021 361 9870Email: highertenders@brega.ly 

Comments:

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  07/01/20162016-01-07
Word count:  446

Brent crude futures fell to a fresh 11-year low on Thursday as a sliding yuan and an emergency halt in China's stock trading left Asian markets in a turmoil, while a huge supply overhang and near-record output levels also continued to drag on oil prices.

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Reuters
China accelerated the devaluation of the yuan on Thursday, sending currencies across the region reeling and domestic stock markets tumbling, as investors feared the Asian giant was kicking off a virtual trade war against its competitors.

Trading on its stock markets was suspended for the rest of the day, the second time this week, and China's securities regulator intervened heavily by issuing rules to restrict share sales by listed companies' major shareholders.

Tracking the weakness across financial markets, the global benchmark Brent LCOc1 fell to $33.09 per barrel, the weakest since 2004 and below the previous 11-year low from Wednesday. Prices, however, edged back to $33.42 by 0440 GMT (11.40 p.m. ET Wednesday).

"With oil markets producing 1 million barrels a day in excess (of demand) and very little sign of any rational response from the supply side, it's little wonder we're seeing pressure again," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

Global oil prices have crashed 70 percent since mid-2014 as near-record output from major producers such as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and North America has left storage tanks brimming with supplies.

Exacerbating the oil market woes is a weakening demand, especially in Asia, home to the world's No.2 oil consumer, China, that is seeing the slowest economic growth in a generation.

"The Chinese economy actually contracted in December and that's adding fire to fears of a more rapid slowdown in the world's second biggest economy," McCarthy said.

Financial markets fear the yuan's rapid depreciation may accelerate, which would mean China's economy is even weaker than had been imagined. Offshore yuan CNH=D3 fell to a fresh record low on Thursday since trading started in 2010. [MKTS/GLOB]

With the global economy looking shaky due to China's slowdown, analysts said the outlook for oil remains for cheap prices for much of this year.

"We think low $30's (per barrel) is a floor, but once positioning gets so biased anything can happen," said Virendra Chauhan, analyst at Energy Aspects in Singapore.

In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures CLc1 set fresh 2009 lows of $32.77 per barrel, with prices crawling back to $33.17 by 0440 GMT.

Analysts said a buildup in U.S. stockpiles was the main reason for the drop in WTI prices.

"The U.S. inventory numbers showed a 16 million increase in distillates and other products, so it's clear they're still producing at rates that are unsustainable," McCarthy said.

The huge storage overhang means that even if U.S. production falls this year as drillers succumb to low prices, it will take many months to work down excess supplies.

(Additional reporting by Florence Tan and Jacob Gronholt-Pedersen; Editing by Richard Pullin and Himani Sarkar)
Comments:

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  06/01/20162016-01-06
Word count:  395

Oil prices on Wednesday gave back earlier gains, retreating toward the previous session's close near 11-year lows as concerns over growing supply and rising stock levels outweighed tensions between key Middle East producers.

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Reuters
A rift between Saudi Arabia and Iran over the Saudi execution of a Shi'ite cleric failed to boost prices this week, as it appeared to put an end to speculation that OPEC members could agree on production cuts to lift prices.

U.S. crude for February delivery was 13 cents higher at $36.10 a barrel at 0419 GMT (11.19 p.m. ET Tuesday), after slipping 79 cents in the previous session.

Brent crude prices were up 12 cents at $36.54 a barrel, after closing down 80 cents. Brent hit an 11-year low of $35.98 a barrel just before Christmas.

"Crude oil oversupply is still in play; however the deficit between demand and supply is getting smaller," said Daniel Ang, an investment analyst at Phillip Futures, in a note on Wednesday. "Possible changes to global supply should come from the U.S. and Iran."

Iranian oil exports are widely expected to increase in 2016 as Western sanctions against the country for its alleged nuclear weapons program are likely to be lifted.

Still, a senior Iranian oil official said the country could moderate oil output and exports once the sanctions are lifted to avoid putting prices under further pressure.

"We don't want to start a sort of a price war," Mohsen Qamsari, director general for international affairs of the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), told Reuters in an interview.

"We will be more subtle in our approach and may gradually increase output," Qamsari said. "I have to say that there is no room to push prices down any further, given the level where they are."

Concerns over mounting stock levels continue to add pressure to prices, with crude inventories in the United States likely to have risen by 439,000 barrels last week, according to a Reuters poll of eight analysts.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will publish its closely watched weekly data at 1530 GMT (10.30 a.m. ET).

Data from American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, showed crude stocks fell last week by 5.6 million barrels, while stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.4 million barrels.

"Demand growth and slowly declining non-OPEC crude production will stabilize (crude stock levels) in 2016 but not substantively reduce them until 2017," analysts at PIRA Energy said in a note.

The oil market also faced pressure from a strengthening dollar which hovered near a one-month high reached on Tuesday as traders sought safer havens.

(Editing by Christian Schmollinger)
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News Releases

News Releases Cultural News
Released:  06/01/20162016-01-06
Word count:  85

Beni Waleed, 05.01.2015(Lana) Cultural and Civil Society Office in Beni Waleed opened Monday a cultural centre in Tininai town, 50 km to the east of Beni Waleed in the presence of several officials and those concerned with the cultural and literature affair in the city.

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LANA - Libyan News Agency
Cultural centres official at the Cultural and Civil Society Office in Beni waleed, Ramzi Al-Sarari said the opening of the cultural centre in Tinanai would contribute to the cultural work at town level.

He said the new centre comprises a library with titles covering various fields. He also said that more cultural centres would be opened in Beni Waleed in the future.

Veteran people of letters and culture were honoured in this occasion and all those who contributed to the reopening of the centre.

=Lana=
Comments:

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  05/01/20162016-01-05
Word count:  424

Crude prices rose on Tuesday as Asian stock markets stabilized following heavy losses in the previous session, but weak oil market fundamentals with production levels persistently above global demand kept a lid on gains.

Play
Reuters
Benchmark futures surged as much as 4 percent on Monday to three-week highs as relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran soured following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric. But the rally fizzled and oil prices ended down after weak Asian and U.S. manufacturing data indicated a gloomy demand outlook.

By 0428 GMT on Tuesday, Brent crude was up 25 cents at $37.47 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 23 cents at $36.99 per barrel, both more than a dollar less than highs reached in the prior session.

Traders said the gains were driven by a slight increase in Chinese shares that offered hope that Monday's 7 percent plunge in equities was a flash in the pan.

None of this, however, changes the fact that the underlying supply-demand fundamentals remain weak, dominated by an unwillingness of producers to cut output that has led to a surplus of hundreds of thousands of barrels of crude every day.

In fact, ANZ said the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran "will further aggravate the oversupply situation in 2016".

It will "reduce the likelihood of any collaboration between the two oil majors regarding oil output as Iran re-enters the international market once sanctions are lifted", the bank said.

According to a Reuters poll, Brent and WTI, currently trading two-thirds below their mid-2014 highs, are likely to average around $50 this year as subdued demand growth looks unable to absorb rising supply.

In the United States, inventories are already near record levels. Traders said market intelligence firm Genscape reported a build of over 480,000 barrels in U.S. Cushing crude stocks for the week to Jan. 1. [L1N14K05D] [L1N14J011]

Overall U.S. commercial crude stocks probably dipped last week, while distillate and gasoline stocks likely edged higher, a Reuters survey showed. [EIA/S]

Industry group American Petroleum Institute will release storage data at 4:30 p.m. ET (2130 GMT).

With brimming U.S. inventories and tensions in the Middle East, a recent move by WTI crude into a premium over Brent has been eliminated since the new year, but analysts expect it to return soon.

"As U.S. crude oil is starting to be exported, we would think that the further widening of spreads into positive region (of WTI over Brent) will come in the coming weeks," brokerage Phillip Futures said.

Congress lifted a four-decade old ban on U.S. crude exports in December and several companies have already announced they will export cargoes.

(Additional reporting by Osamu Tsukimori in TOKYO; Editing by Joseph Radford and Himani Sarkar)
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Business News

Business News

SINGAPORE, Jan 4 Gold jumped nearly 1 percent on Monday, bolstered by safe-haven bids following rising geopolitical tensions in the Middle East that knocked equities and the dollar lower.

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Reuters
Saudi Arabia cut ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row between the rival Middle East powers over Riyadh's execution of a Shi'ite Muslim cleric. Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predicted "divine vengeance" for the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the ruling Al Saudi family.

Spot gold rose 0.9 percent to $1,069.20 an ounce by 0652 GMT, after earlier hitting a session high of $1,070.20.

U.S. gold futures gained 0.8 percent, while spot silver jumped about 1 percent.

"Gold is being bid up due to the risk-off sentiment in the market," said a precious metals trader in Singapore.

Asian shares and currencies fell on Monday due to tensions in the Middle East and soft Chinese data. Chinese stocks tumbled 7 percent, leading to a trading halt.

The dollar fell to a 10-week low against the yen, also seen as a safe haven, and slipped from a two-week high against a basket of major currencies. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Brent crude and WTI rose about 2 percent on Monday due to the fallout in the Middle East. Higher oil prices support bullion, as gold is seen as a hedge against oil-led inflation.

Investors bet on gold as an alternative investment during times of geopolitical and financial uncertainties, though safe-haven rallies typically tend to be short-lived.

After losing 10 percent last year, gold faces another tough year in 2016, amidst higher U.S. interest rates and a stronger dollar, with analysts predicting further price drops.

The Federal Reserve raised U.S. rates for the first time in December, and is expected to resort to gradual increases in this year. Higher rates dent demand for non-interest-paying gold, while supporting the dollar.

"Even though the rate hike would be gradual, the dollar is going to stay firm. That is going to drag gold prices down," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan, who expects gold to drop to $950 an ounce this year.

In a reflection of bearish investor sentiment, assets of SPDR Gold Trust, the top gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.18 percent to 642.37 tonnes on Thursday, close to a seven-year low.

    PRICES AT 0652 GMT  
Metal            Last     Change   Pct chg

Spot gold         1069.2     8.96     0.85
Spot silver       13.957    0.167     1.21
Spot platinum        881     -8.5    -0.96
Spot palladium       548   -13.63    -2.43
Comex gold        1068.7      8.5      0.8
Comex silver      13.935    0.132     0.96

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months



(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sunil Nair)
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  04/01/20162016-01-04
Word count:  411

SINGAPORE, Jan 4 Oil prices jumped over 2 percent in the first trading hours of 2016 as relations between Middle Eastern rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran deteriorated following Riyadh's execution of a prominent Shi'ite Muslim cleric.

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Reuters
Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Sunday, responding to the storming of its embassy in Tehran in an escalating row between the two major oil producers over Riyadh's execution of cleric Nimr al-Nimr.

Global oil benchmark Brent climbed over 2.5 percent and more than a dollar to a morning high of $38.50 per barrel on Monday, before easing back to $38.28 at 0136 GMT - still up $1.

U.S. crude's West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were up 76 cents, or 2.05 percent, at $37.80 a barrel.

Despite this jump, oil prices are down by two-thirds since mid-2014 on ballooning oversupply as producers pump between 0.5 and 2 million barrels of oil every day in excess of demand. "It's bizarre. We left 2015 on a low, but everybody knew that geopolitics can be one of the biggest price drivers in oil. And now we're back in the office to a new year, political risk is right back into the market," said an oil trader.

Iranian protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran early on Sunday and Shi'ite Iran's top leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, predicted "divine vengeance" for the execution of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an outspoken opponent of the ruling Al Saudi family.

Saudi Arabia is the world's biggest oil exporter while Iran, which has some of the biggest proven reserves, hopes to ramp up exports following an expected lifting of sanctions against it after reaching a deal over its alleged nuclear weapons development programme.

"We are on track to see the implementation of the Iran deal move forward," said deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes in Hawaii, where U.S. President Barack Obama is on vacation. Iran's oil exports fell to around 1 million barrels per day (bpd), down from a peak of almost 3 million bpd in 2011, before the sanctions were put in place.

Iran plans to raise oil output by half a million to 1 million bpd post sanctions, although Iranian officials said over the weekend they did not plan to flood the market with its crude if there was no demand for it.

Hurt by falling prices, some OPEC-producers like Venezuela are calling for coordinated action to cut output, but the group's iggest producers in the Middle East have so far shown no will to cut without a simultaneous reduction by other major producers like Russia.

Oil output in Russia, one of the world's three biggest producers next to Saudi Arabia and the United States, hit a post-Soviet high in 2015 averaging 10.73 million bpd, up from 10.58 in 2014.

(Editing by Joseph Radford)  
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News Releases

News Releases Cultural News
Released:  04/01/20162016-01-04
Word count:  217

Ghat refuses to give in: mini ‘tourism’ festival finally held

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Libya herald
A much slimmed-down one-day version of the annual Ghat international tourism festival has taken place despite the absence of any tourists in the town. This year’s festival, dedicated to peace and Libyan unity, had to cater entirely to local residents and nearly did not happen because of no government funding and the political situation. However, local organisations and activists were determined to that the show should go on.

“The festival has had to be modest given the humanitarian and logistical problems faced by Ghat as a result of the problems in the Ubari area, ” the head of the festival organising committee, Ahmed Hima, told the Libya Herald. He was referring to the fact that Obari, on the main road from Ghat to Sebha, has been subject to continuing clashes between Tuaregs and Tebus.

The lack of government funding also almost stopped it happening, but local artists and others gave their time and talents for free.

“It has had to be for just one day, and was the smallest we’ve ever done but we hope that in future we can rebuild and improve it.”

The event, Hima said, including music from the Ghat area, including songs about the desert and featuring in particular a group called Tinarion, as well as art exhibitions by local Tuareg groups.
Comments:

News Releases

News Releases
Released:  04/01/20162016-01-04
Word count:  76

Tripoli, 03.01.2016 (Lana) The High Committee organizing friendly games held a meeting with members of the committee organizing the mini-African championship to be held from 11 to 15 January 2016 at Tripoli International Stadium.

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LANA - Libyan News Agency
Discussions focused on administrative and organizational matters to make the friendly championship a success.

The championship is to be sponsored by Ministry of Youth and Sports and in line with preparations of Al-Itihad team to take part in the coming African championships.

The championship is to include Libyan Al-Itihad team, Ghanaian Ashanti and Cameroon's Coton team.

The teams are to arrive on January 9, and matches will be played on 11, 13, and 15 January 2016 at Tripoli International Stadium.

=Lana=
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  01/01/20162016-01-01
Word count:  575

A year ago, after oil prices had halved in six months, analysts were forecasting a price recovery in 2015 while many traders were busy shorting the market.

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Reuters
As it turned out, the traders were correct and oil prices fell by another third this year. Analysts have now forecast a pick-up in prices over 2016, while traders built short positions on U.S. oil futures to a record in early December.

The difference in the two views is on what happens in response to an oil output surplus that has been estimated as high as 2 million barrels per day (bpd) by some analysts.

Many analysts expect a price recovery towards the end of 2016 to pull up the average for the full year, with production - especially in the United States - falling as drillers succumb to debt and low revenues.

But traders say analysts based their outlooks for 2015 on similar reasoning and are calling it wrong again for 2016, with oil producers cutting costs to both survive over the long haul and keep pumping oil at low prices to service debt.

"The party (of past high oil prices) is over, at least for the next two to three years," said Oystein Berentsen, managing director of crude oil at trading company Strong Petroleum in Singapore, arguing that oil companies have cut costs to get ready to live with lower prices for years to come.

With markets tanking in December, and Brent hitting an 11-year low just under $36 per barrel, some analysts are also starting to show signs of reviewing their forecasts.

U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley said in its latest note, published before Christmas and headlined "Headwinds Growing for 2016 Oil", that "the hope for a rebalancing in 2016 continues to suffer serious setbacks".

Still, analysts would have to lower their forecasts sharply to reverse expectations for a price recovery in 2016. The latest Reuters survey of 31 analysts showed an average price forecast for Brent for next year at $57.95 a barrel, more than $20 above current prompt market values.

And most analysts hold to the idea that production cuts will turn the market around in the coming year.

"We are likely getting closer to a more balanced market," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, adding that he expected Brent to average $45 a barrel while warning that there would be high volatility.

Yet the market is showing few signs of faith in a recovery even in late 2016.

The Brent forward curve shows a price increase of under $7 per barrel between contracts for delivery in February 2016 and those expiring in the following December, a much narrower spread than in previous downturns and reflecting little trust in any increase over the year, traders said.

Meanwhile, the average value for monthly 2016 Brent contracts is $40.89 per barrel, just $3.50 above current prices and well below the analysts' forecasts for the year's average.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) forward curve is almost the same, already factoring in a flip into a premium over Brent that reappeared for the first time in years this month, but which has yet to be reflected in most analyst forecasts.

Over 2015, Brent and WTI crude prices have averaged $53.60 and $48.76 per barrel, respectively, as of Dec. 31.

Out of the pool of analysts polled by Reuters on their outlooks around a year ago, the forecast that came closest to those numbers was Citigroup's, with expectations that Brent and WTI in 2015 would average $63 and $55 per barrel.

All other forecasts expected prices to recover more steeply, only to see the market extend the rout that began in June 2014 for another 12 months.

(Additional reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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News Releases

News Releases
Released:  01/01/20162016-01-01

LibyaBusiness.tv team hopes you have a happy new year.

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LBTV Team
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Comments:

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  31/12/20152015-12-31
Word count:  500

Oil prices remained in a downbeat mood during their final Asian-hours trading session of 2015 after record U.S. crude inventories reinforced concerns about a global supply glut that has pulled down prices by a third over the past year.

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Reuters
Crude inventories in the United States rose 2.6 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected a draw of 2.5 million barrels. [EIA/S]

Crude prices held losses after falling more than 3 percent in the previous session, with U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures trading around $36.70 per barrel at 0300 GMT on Thursday and Brent around $36.60 per barrel. Both benchmarks are down by around a third over 2015.

The immediate outlook for oil prices remains bleak, with some analysts like Goldman Sachs saying prices as low as $20 per barrel might be necessary to push enough production out of business and allow a rebalancing of the market.

U.S. bank Morgan Stanley said in its outlook for next year that "headwinds (are) growing for 2016 oil." The bank cites ongoing increases in available global supplies, despite some cuts by U.S. shale drillers in particular, as well as a slowdown in demand as the main reasons.

"The imbalance in the global oil market has been diminishing in 2H15, but the hope for a rebalancing in 2016 continues to suffer serious setbacks," the bank said, reflecting a market consensus that meaningfully higher prices are not expected before late 2016. [L8N14J03J]

Traders expect some U.S. oil to be taken out of America and supplied into global markets, following the surprise lifting of a decades-old U.S. crude export ban in December, which ended a years-old discount in U.S. crude prices to international Brent.

"At a time when U.S. shale is facing headwinds due to the collapse in crude oil prices... U.S. crude oil exports are likely to help reduce congestion concerns in the U.S.," ING bank said.

INDUSTRY PAIN

Oil prices began falling in mid-2014 as ballooning output from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and U.S. shale drillers started to outpace demand. The downturn gained pace at the end of 2014 after a Saudi-led OPEC decided to keep production high to defend global market share rather than cut output to prop up prices.

A year on and the oil downturn has turned into a rout with Brent prices briefly falling below $36 per barrel to levels last seen in over a decade, effectively wiping out the gains from a decade-long commodity super-cycle sparked by China's unprecedented energy demand boom.

The downturn has caused pain across the energy supply chain, including shippers, private oil drillers and oil-dependent countries from Venezuela and Russia to the Middle East.

Analysts estimate global crude production exceeds demand by anywhere between half a million and 2 million barrels every day. This means that even the most aggressive estimates of expected U.S. production cuts of 500,000 bpd for 2016 would be unlikely to fully rebalance the market.

Russia and OPEC are so far showing few signs of reining in production, leading traders to establish record high active short positions in the market that would profit from further crude price falls.

(Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Richard Pullin)
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