Engineers are now working on local cabling. The state power company says that very shortly parts of Sabri will be getting their first electricity in four years.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices moved up on Friday, lifted by the Forties pipeline outage in the North Sea and ongoing OPEC-led production cuts, although rising output from the United States kept a lid on markets.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $63.46 a barrel, up 15 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their previous close.
The ongoing outage of the Forties pipeline, which carries North Sea oil to Britain, was the main price driver, traders said.
“Forties pipeline operator Ineos declared force majeure on crude deliveries following Tuesday’s discovery of leaks in the pipeline, indicating that repairs could take several weeks,” U.S. investment bank Jefferies said. While the pipeline outage physically mostly affects the North Sea region, it is of global relevance as the crude it supplies is part of the supply that underpins the Brent price benchmark.
“If the duration of the outage is for several weeks it should put upward pressure on the Brent price,” Jefferies said. Beyond the North Sea supply disruption, traders said markets were generally supported by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia to withhold production to prop up prices.
Goldman Sachs said that market conditions allowed the major oil companies, which it referred as Big Oil, to enter “a positive earnings-revision cycle” and that “this should allow Big Oil to re-employ capital at double-digit returns”.
The U.S. bank said that the improved market conditions were a result of a higher Brent crude oil price outlook of an expected annual average of $62, $60, and $55 per barrel for 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The companies usually associated with ‘Big Oil’ are BP, Royal Dutch Shell, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Total.
Undermining OPEC’s efforts to tighten the market is U.S. oil production, which has soared by 16 percent since mid-2016 to 9.78 million barrels per day (bpd), close to levels of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Rising U.S. supply, driven largely by shale drilling, will likely move oil markets into a supply surplus in the first half of 2018, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday.
“Total supply growth could exceed demand growth: indeed, in the first half the surplus could be 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) before reverting to a deficit of about 200,000 bpd in the second half, leaving 2018 as a whole showing a closely balanced market,” the Paris-based IEA said in its monthly oil market report.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford
Egypt has agreed to provide Libya with electricity, starting next year. It is also to provide expertise in rebuilding the Libyan electricity industry
There is an existing agreement to supply Libya with Egyptian power; yesterday’s meeting merely agreed to enact it. Existing decisions to set up joint committees and have regular meetings were also given the green light. As part of these, Egypt will help in restructuring the Libyan electricity industry.
Egypt – and Tunisia – had previously provided Libya with electricity but the supply was cut because of unpaid bills. At the beginning of 2015, the Thinni administration agreed to pay the LD 2.5-million bill for Egyptian electricity supplied in November 2011, but it never happened.
Then, the following month, GECOL was busy saying that it did not need to import electricity from Egypt. However, by the summer that year and faced with power cuts, the Libya Dawn prime minister Khalifa Ghwell promised that Libya would import 75 MW of power from Egypt.
It too never happened.
Power from Egypt is to go to eastern Libya. Plans are also in hand, though, to import electricity from Algeria for the west and south of the country.
Three weeks ago, Sassi was in Algiers to discuss the idea with Algerian state power company Sonelgaz at the latter’s invitation.
“We have a surplus national production of electricity, especially in winter,” Sonelgaz CEO Mohamed Arkab said at the time. “Our Libyan brothers need this energy. We are therefore studying the possibilities of a high voltage electrical connection between Algeria and Libya through Tunisia to export our energy and offer our services through these power lines.”
He explained that there had been a study in 2010 to provide Algerian electricity to Libya but that the 2011 revolution and the subsequent political crisis had put it on hold.
“We want to be the first to be present on the Libyan market,” he said. “We must then take the opportunity to export our know-how to Libya, a country with which we have several points in common, including borders that can facilitate cooperation.”
For his part Sassi said during the visit: “We also want to benefit from the Algerian network to supply certain cities in western and southern Libya.”
He called on Sonelgaz to begin with setting up a transmission grid towards Libya.
A joint GECOL-Sonelgaz commission has been set up to oversee both the supply of power to Libya, including the construction of power lines and substations, as well as the expansion of the Libyan power industry.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil markets rose on Thursday, lifted by a fourth straight weekly fall in U.S. crude inventories, though climbing output capped prices well below the 2015 highs reached earlier this week.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $62.81 a barrel, up 37 cents, or 0.6 percent from their last close.
U.S. crude oil stockpiles fell by 5.1 million barrels in the week to Dec. 8, the fourth consecutive week of declines, to 442.99 million barrels, the lowest since October, 2015.
Despite the rise, Brent was well below the $65.83 a barrel June, 2015 high reached earlier this week. It hit that level after the Forties pipeline in the North Sea, which carries significant amounts of crude used to underpin Brent crude futures, was shut down due to cracks.
The International Energy Agency said it saw no immediate need to act, for instance with the release of strategic stockpiles, as the market remains well supplied.
Another cap on prices has been soaring U.S. production, which has risen by 16 percent since mid-2016 to 9.78 million barrels per day, the highest since the early 1970s and close to levels from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Singapore’s OCBC bank said on Thursday in its 2018 commodities outlook that a “further rise in prices could well be met by stronger U.S. production as shale oil players turn taps on”, suggesting that oil prices may not rise too far in 2018.
“A lot of, perhaps all, the current news about tightness in the oil market is already priced in,” said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at futures brokerage AxiTrader.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Joseph Radford
Russia is willing to help secure a solution to the Libyan crisis Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has told his Libyan counterpart, Mohamed Siala, in talks today. He also announced plans to send a business mission to Libya early next year.
He believed that both sides in Libya were trying to find a solution under the auspices of UN envoy Ghassan Salamé, adding that Russia could see results from the discussions so far.
“The Russian Federation is ready to provide all-round support towards achieving a final arrangement. We established contacts with absolutely all political groups and tribes at the very beginning of the Libyan crisis,” he said, repeating Moscow’s line that it still maintained relations with the two sides.
He added that once the situation had stabilised, Russia would be able to develop cooperation with Libya.
The two men also discussed the release of two Russians from the tanker Temeteron, held last year on suspicion of smuggling fuel. They are its captain and one of his officers. Another officer, a Ukrainian, is also still being held. All the other crew were released earlier this year. According to the Russians who were confident that the matter would soon be closed, Siala promised help secure their freedom.
TUNIS, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Libya’s Nafusa Oil Operations is hoping to produce 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil next year from a new project in the western Ghadames basin, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement posted on Tuesday.
Nafusa Oil Operations is a joint venture created in 2013 between the NOC, Indonesia’s Medco Energi Internasional and Libya’s sovereign wealth fund, to develop exploration in Block 47.
Reporting by Aidan Lewis; editing by Jason Neely
TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday as industry data showed a larger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude stockpiles, while expectations for an extended shutdown of a major North Sea crude pipeline also continued to bolster markets.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was up 42 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $57.56 a barrel, having settled the previous session down 85 cents. Britain’s biggest pipeline from its North Sea oil and gas fields is likely to be shut for several weeks for repairs, its operator said on Tuesday.
The pipeline, which carries about 450,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Forties crude, was shut after cracks were found. It has particular significance to global markets because Forties is the largest out of the five crude oil streams that underpin the dated Brent benchmark.
A number of producers, including BP and Royal Dutch Shell, said they had closed down oil fields in response. “Four weeks is much longer than most projections,” said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo. “The pipeline incident came just when the markets are tightening on coordinated production cuts.”
After settlement on Tuesday, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said crude stocks in the United States fell by 7.4 million barrels last week. That is almost twice the decline of analysts’ expectations for a drop of 3.8 million barrels. [API/S] [EIA/S]
Gasoline stocks rose by 2.3 million barrels, compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 2.5 million-barrel gain. Distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 1.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 902,000-barrel gain, the API data showed.
The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration releases its weekly oil report on Wednesday.
Selling had gained pace on Tuesday after the U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its monthly short-term energy outlook that U.S. crude oil output will rise by 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) to a record-high of 10.02 million bpd in 2018.
Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Joseph Radford
The head of Libya’s UN-backed government held a rare meeting on Saturday with the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and the governor of Tripoli’s central bank to discuss funding to raise oil production.
Ties have been tense between central bank governor Sadiq al-Kabir Sadiq and Government of National Accord (GNA) head Fayez Seraj over monetary policy and fiscal reform, although the bank said last month an economic and financial plan had been agreed on.
“The meeting dealt with the financial arrangements to provide funding to the National Oil Corporation so as to be able to raise production and carry out its tasks and responsibilities in production, exploration, refining and transport of crude oil and petroleum products,” the GNA said.
It added that rising oil output would help “reduce the deficit and help the Central Bank of Libya to take monetary policies to deal with the liquidity crisis and support the Libyan dinar, and stimulate the national economy”.
Libya earns almost all its income from oil production, which has risen about fourfold over the past 18 months to one million barrels per day. Despite the rise in production, Libya is still running a heavy deficit and the NOC has complained in the past that it has only received a fraction of its budget.
Citizens have struggled with inflation, which has risen to more than 30 percent as the Libyan dinar has steadily lost value on the parallel market.
Economic policy has also been obstructed by divisions between rival factions based in Tripoli and eastern Libya.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Brent crude oil prices jumped above $65 per barrel for the first time since 2015 after the shutdown of the Forties North Sea pipeline knocked out significant supply from a market that was already tightening due to OPEC-led production cuts.
That marks the first time Brent has risen above $65 since June, 2015.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $58.30 a barrel, up 31 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last settlement.
“Brent crude raced higher ... as news broke that the North Sea’s Forties Pipeline system would have to be shut down for a ‘number of weeks’ after a hairline crack was found in it,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore. “The pipeline ... is a significant component underpinning the Brent benchmark.”
Britain’s Forties oil pipeline, the country’s largest at a capacity of 450,000 barrels per day (bpd), shut down on Monday after cracks were revealed.
“The market reaction shows that in a tight market, any supply issue will quickly be reflected in higher prices,” said ANZ bank.
The jump in Brent prices widened its premium to WTI prices to almost $7 a barrel, up from around $5 last week, making U.S. oil exports more attractive. CL-LCO1=R
The cheaper WTI is also a result of rising U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA, which has jumped by more than 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.71 million bpd, levels not seen since the early 1970s.
U.S. production is now also not far off that of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The rising U.S. output threatens to undermine efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of non-OPEC producers, most importantly Russia, to support prices by withholding supplies.
OPEC and its allies started withholding supplies last January and currently plan to continue doing so throughout 2018.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Kenneth Maxwell
Libya is seeking ways to boost its oil output in defiance of a recently reached agreement with OPEC and Russia to cut production, citing its fiscal and monetary struggle.
The head of Libya’s UN-recognized government held a meeting with leaders of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), as well the governor of the nation’s central bank Saturday, discussing the allocation of additional funds to increase oil output.
Libya has been mired in political instability and suffered the consequences of fragile public finances for years entailing the overthrow of Gaddafi. However, as international oil prices increased, warring factions within the country – including Islamic extremists associated with Daesh – have sought ways to ship more oil overseas in order to boost their political influence.
The central government, backed by the UN, is now weighing an increase in state-controlled oil output for the same reason, as increased budget revenues could enhance political stability in the country. However, the NOC has been significantly underfunded in the past two years, and this lack of investment in the oil industry has limited government-controlled oil production.
Besides, Libya joined the OPEC oil cuts recently, not least due to the understanding that the nation’s output capacity is restrained anyway due to these systemic factors. Current discussions are therefore controversial at least, as they contradict the spirit of the OPEC-Russian accords aimed at supporting oil prices, and Libya appears to be seeking to capitalize on the results of the agreement.
Libya agreed its oil production would not exceed 1 mln bpd, and Libya said it would bring its output in line with the target next year. However, increased governmental investment in the oil industry could allow the nation to produce more oil in the near future.
Now, central bank governor Sadiq al-Kabir Sadiq, and Fayez Seraj, who leads the Government of National Accord (GNA), are in pursuit of monetary and fiscal reform, aimed at improving Libya’s economy.
“The meeting dealt with the necessary financial arrangements to provide funding to the National Oil Corporation so as to be able to raise production and carry out its tasks and responsibilities in … production, exploration, refining and transport of crude oil and petroleum products,” the GNA said in a statement.
The government also said that raising its oil output could help narrow the fiscal deficit and overcome the liquidity crisis. The government also expects a higher oil output to support the national currency and ensure a faster pace of economic growth.
Almost all of Libya’s budget revenue comes from oil exports, meaning there is no way the government could realistically boost its budget revenues. The nation’s economy is in dismay following decades of structural inefficiency and mismanagement, whilst the recent outbreak of tribal warfare has made the situation even worse.
Libya is running a huge deficit, and the NOC says that despite its contribution to the state budget, the government has underfunded it. Meanwhile, Libyan citizens are facing low living standards, undermined by massive inflation running over 30 percent, and the nation’s monetary system has two parallel FX rates for the dinar, thus hampering the availability of basic consumer goods.
Tripoli is also caught in the crossfire of a standoff with competing quasi-political factions in eastern Libya, who also export oil. Meanwhile, the heavy presence of radical Islamists in the country, and their solid political positioning, remains a threat to national security, political stability and the economy itself.
In recent weeks, Russia pressed OPEC to coerce Nigeria and Libya – the two largest oil producers in Africa – to cut their oil output. There is still, however, no official document confirming their commitment to the cuts, as the economies of Libya and Nigeria are less prosperous than that of Saudi Arabia and less diversified than that of Russia.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday as last week’s rise in the U.S. rig count pointed to a further increase in American production that could undermine OPEC-led efforts to tighten markets.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $57.14 a barrel at 0418 GMT, down 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $63.15 a barrel. “The largest concern for investors currently remains the rise in the U.S. rig count, which could potentially jeopardize the OPEC and Russian agreement when they meet for a review in June 2018,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers.
The number of rigs drilling for new oil output in the United States rose by two in the week to Dec.8, to 751, the highest level since September, General Electric Co’s (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI
A higher rig count points to a further rise in U.S. crude production C-OUT-T-EIA, which is already up by more than 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.71 million barrels per day (bpd).
That’s the highest level since the early 1970s, and close to levels from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Rising U.S. output threatens to undermine efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of non-OPEC producers, including Russia, to support prices by withholding supplies.
OPEC and its allies started withholding supplies last January and currently plan to continue doing so throughout 2018.
Kuwait’s oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said on Sunday, however, OPEC and other oil producers will study before June possibly ending the global oil supply cuts earlier.
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Kenneth Maxwell
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Siemens, the German industrial group, plans to build two gas-fired power stations in Libya, in a fillip for its struggling power division which is shedding staff as developed economies shift to renewable sources of energy.
The deal follows an announcement by Siemens last month that it would cut 6,900 jobs, or around 2 percent of its global workforce. Most of the jobs would be shed by 2020 at its energy unit as demand for gas turbines fades.
The firm’s home market Germany and much of Europe is shifting increasingly to wind and solar power, but energy-hungry markets elsewhere are still yielding significant business for the power division.
Siemens signed an 8 billion-euro ($9.4 billion) deal in June to supply gas and wind power plants to Egypt in a deal that would boost the North African country’s electricity generation by 50 percent. ($1 = 0.8495 euros)
Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; writing by Douglas Busvine; editing by Andrew Roche
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were stable on Friday, held back by a strengthening U.S. dollar but supported by China’s relentless thirst for crude amid the OPEC-led supply cuts that have already tightened the market this year.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were steady at $62.20 a barrel.
Traders said a stronger dollar, which has gained 0.9 percent this month against a basket of other leading currencies, was weighing on prices.
A rising greenback attracts financial traders who switch investments between commodity futures and foreign exchange. A strong dollar is also seen by many as a brake on crude prices, as it makes dollar-denominated oil purchases more expensive in countries that use other currencies.
“A strong U.S. dollar could act as a headwind to commodities,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML) said in its 2018 outlook.
Despite this, China’s booming oil demand will this year overtake the United States as the world’s biggest crude importer.
China’s crude oil imports rose to 37.04 million tonnes in November, or 9.01 million barrels per day (bpd), the second highest on record, data from the General Administration of Customs showed on Friday.
“China’s crude oil imports will continue to rise over the coming years, as output declines from several of its giant onshore fields... This will inevitably see China become more reliant on crude oil imports over our forecast period, with import dependency set to increase from a record 68.0 percent in 2017 to nearly 80 percent by 2021,” BMI Research said.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, meanwhile, said healthy global demand and tight supplies should see Brent crude oil rise to $70 per barrel by mid-year.
U.S. investment bank Jefferies said it expects 2018 global oil demand growth of 1.5 million bpd, driven by near 10 percent demand growth in China.
On the supply side, oil prices have been receiving support from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and a group of non-OPEC producers, most importantly Russia, which has been withholding supplies to tighten the market.
Largely because of these voluntary production cuts, oil prices rose sharply between June and October, with Brent gaining around 40 percent in value.
Threatening to undermine OPEC’s goal to tighten markets is U.S. oil production, which has risen by more than 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.7 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest level since the early 1970s and close to the output of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
The EIA monthly data on US crude production published Nov. 30 was also somewhat bearish,
Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin
Harouge oil operation, is joint operating company on behalf of national oil operation Libya and Suncor oil (north Africa) GMBH, announces an invitation to participate in tender no (14/2017) for supply and procure of (36’’ x 80 kms) sour service pipeline for (AMNA crude oil).
Scope of supply:
Supply (36’’x 0.375 WT API 5L X52, SAW, PSL2, DRL (40 Feet) x 80 KMS, sour service pipeline for the (AMNA crude oil pipeline) according to the specifications attached to the scope of work.
Harouge Tender Committee announces to all companies who have an interest in the tender that participation will be as follows:
1. Tender Committee will only accept participation from local specialized companies who have sufficient experience of supplying materials of similar size and quantities in this field which can be supported with certificates and documentation and pipe line mills companies (manufacturers) and foreign companies registered in Libya as “manufacturers agents” having the necessary registration licenses to carry out supply and delivery of the subject pipeline.
2. Items of origin will be accepted from Western Europe, North America and Japan only.
3. All companies who wish to participate in this tender should send Official letter before the date of collecting the ITT package addressed to HOO Company’s Chairman of Tender Committee confirming the desire to participate in this Tender, via email to:
4. Fill the attached copy of consultant information form and make sure that your contact details are correct and current and send it with the participation letter.
5. Provide a copy of the following legal documents attached with the participation letter as applicable:
• Valid license compatible with the required work.
• Commercial Registration
• Certificate of Registration in Chamber of Commerce.
• Payment of tax certificate
• Article of association.
• Previous experience in similar work.
• The financial Status of the company for the last three years.
6. ITT Package will be received (free of charge) to the bibbers via the written e mail mentioned in the consultant information from Tuesday 19/12/2017 To Thursday 21/12/2017, any request after this day will not be accepted.
7. In case of no queries / inquiries are received from the bidder prior to bid submittal , this will be deemed mean that the bidder had studied the scope / specifications bid package, found it clear from both technical & commercial aspects, therefore in case of any shortages and/or change of specifications from HOO original scope/specifications bid package, shall result in disqualifying the bidder’s offer, and shall be excluded from further considerations with no obligation to HOO to request any clarification from the bidder.
8. Bid bond with a value of (100,000 LD) one hundred thousand Libyan dinars) submitted with your offer in the form of a certified check in a separate envelope, which shall be refunded in the event of failure to secure the tender. The check shall be issued by a Libyan bank in favor of Harouge Oil Operations or by bank guarantee letter available for (6) months from the date of submitting the offer, and shall be issued by one of the worldwide first class banks in favor of Harouge Oil Operations.
Notes: Any company or contractor interested in participating in this tender is responsible for all costs involved.
If you have any questions please contact the Tender Committee via:
fax no :+218- 21- 3330090
Email to: email@example.com
An appeal court in Paris has overturned a lower court garnishee order freezing $100-million worth of funds belonging to the Central Bank of Libya (CBL), held in the Crédit Agricole Bank.
The funds had been frozen at the request of Kuwait’s Kharafi group in April last year.
The case relates to Kharafi’s claim for almost $1 billion in compensation for a $130-million tourist resort project in the Tajoura area of Tripoli, agreed in 2006 but apparently cancelled after the revolution. It had been due to be completed in 2011, when the revolution broke out, although to that date all that allegedly had been expended was $5 million for feasibility studies, design and management contracts.
Kharafi took its case to an Egyptian court in 2013 which awarded it $936.9 million, of which $900 million was for lost potential profit.
It then applied to a French court to seize Qaddafi’s private plane, an Airbus A-340 which at the time was at Toulouse undergoing repairs and refurbishment having been damaged during the revolution. The French court, however, refused the application. At which point, the Kharafi group said that it was concentrating on other assets in France.
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Wednesday, as refined product inventories in the United States rose in what the market interpreted as a sign of lacklustre demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.38 a barrel, down 24 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last settlement.
Traders said prices fell after an American Petroleum Institute (API) report late on Tuesday that showed a 9.2 million barrel rise in gasoline stocks in the week ended Dec. 1, and an increase of 4.3 million barrels in distillate inventories, which include motor diesel and heating oil.
The perception that the higher fuel stocks pointed to weak demand outweighed a drop in crude inventories by 5.5 million barrels, to 451.8 million, traders said.
Outside the United States, analysts said supply cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers - which last week were extended to all of next year - have helped lift Brent prices by more than 40 percent since June, and more than 130 percent since early 2016, when they hit their lowest level since 2003.
With the supply cuts likely in place throughout 2018, analysts said crude prices were well supported.
"Robust global demand and tight supplies should see Brent crude oil rise to $70 per barrel by mid-year (2018)," said Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its 2018 outlook.
One factor that could undermine OPEC's and Russia's effort to cut supplies and prop up prices is U.S. oil production, which has risen by 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.68 million barrels per day, close to levels of top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.
"U.S. shale producers continue to win market share," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com. But weaker economic performance and a decline in refinery capacity utilisation in the first quarter could be a drag on oil demand and dampen prices, said Georgi Slavov, head of research at commodity broker Marex Spectron.
"Demand remains firm, which is the main reason for us to still see oil at/above $60 per barrel. This is likely to change as we approach 2018," Slavov said in a note.
"We are starting to pick up weakness in the macro performance of key oil consuming regions. We are also starting to take note of the forthcoming January-February decline in refinery capacity utilisation," he said.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Additional reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Richard Pullin and Tom Hogue)
UK ambassador Peter Millett has suggested to NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla that a conference be held next year in Aberdeen to assess ways in which British and Libyan oil sector companies could cooperate to maintain and improve Libya’s oil production and facilities.
NOC chairman Mustafa Sanalla is understood to have responded positively to the Aberdeen conference idea.
Millett was accompanied by his deputy Angus McKee, recently appointed after over three years as consul general in Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan.
The two also attended a conference in illegal immigration in Tripoli today, along with Presidency Council deputy Ahmed Maetig.
Yesterday, Millett made his first ever visit to Zintan where he saw Mayor Mustafa Baroni and the head of the House of Representatives dialogue committee Abdulsalem Nasia as well as officials and some 20 local sheikhs.
The current political process was discussed as was the situation of internally displaced Libyans, in particular the several thousand Zintanis who fled to the town from Tripoli – mainly west Tripoli – in 2014.
Zintan’s plans for reconstruction were also discussed.
Millett’s visit is being seen in terms of building up a new relationship between the mountain town and the UK.
SEOUL (Reuters) - Oil markets nudged higher on Tuesday, buoyed by expectations of a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles and after last week’s deal between OPEC and other crude producers to extend output curbs.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers last week rolled over their agreement to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of 2018, aiming to erode a global glut and drive up prices.
Goldman Sachs said Saudi Arabia and Russia showed a stronger commitment to extending cuts and raised its Brent and WTI spot forecasts for 2018 to $62 and $57.50 per barrel respectively.
“By 2019, however, we believe the response of shale and other producers to higher prices will incentivise OPEC and Russia to pare back their now greater spare capacity, leaving risks to prices skewed to the downside,” the bank added.
In November, OPEC crude oil output fell by 300,000 bpd to its lowest since May, according to a Reuters survey released on Monday.
“Both contracts (Brent and WTI) have now tested and failed major resistance levels, and all eyes will now be on the U.S. crude inventory data due tonight and tomorrow,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.
While rising U.S. oil production remains a hurdle for OPEC’s efforts to rebalance the market, U.S. crude inventories likely fell last week, marking their third straight weekly drop, a preliminary Reuters poll showed.
Seven analysts polled ahead of inventory reports from the industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) and the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimated, on average, that crude stocks fell 3.5 million barrels in the week ended Dec. 1.
The official government inventory data is due on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. EDT (1430 GMT).
Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin
Interim Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thinni has issued a decree saying medical supplies may arrive only by air and sea, but not by land.
Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport, which is open but not under his control, was not mentioned.
However, the decree includes the of Benina, Tobruk and Labraq airports, and Benghazi and Tobruk seaports, all of which are under his authority. However, Tobruk port was ordered to close in October by Khalifa Hafter and shipping diverted to Benghazi, although this has been somewhat relaxed since then.
As part of the decree, Thinni has also restructured the eastern government’s medical supply authority, appointing a new board of directors headed by Salam Ojali. The authority is to be headquartered in Benghazi.
No reason, though, has been given for the restructuring or why imports of medicines by land are being stopped.
Thinni has meanwhile also replaced his undersecretary at the education ministry. Dr Salim Ali Mohamed Al-Hasiya will take over from Dr Aqoub Abdullah Aqoub, who had been in the role since 2016.
TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil fell on Monday after U.S. shale drillers added more rigs last week, but prices still held close to their highest since mid-2015, supported by an extension of output cuts agreed last week by OPEC and other producers.
The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, gained sharply from 477 rigs active a year ago after energy companies boosted spending plans for 2017. [RIG/U]
Drillers over 2017 were encouraged to increase activity as crude prices started recovering from a multi-year price slump around the same time that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed to production cuts a year ago.
Last week, the producers agreed to extend those cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next year.
“The extent of U.S. production growth and the strength of global oil demand in 2018 remain the main uncertainties,” BMI Research said in a note.
“OPEC (or rather Saudi Arabia) will increasingly work to manage the market,” BMI said in the note.
The latest agreement allows for producers to exit the deal early if the market overheats. Russian officials had expressed concern that extending the output cuts might encourage rival U.S. shale oil firms to pump more crude.
Rising U.S. production has been a persistent thorn in OPEC’s side and the rig increased for a second straight week.
U.S. output rose in September to 9.5 million bpd, the highest monthly output since 9.6 million bpd in April 2015, according to government data going back to 2005. On an annual basis, U.S. output peaked at 9.6 million bpd in 1970.
Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin and Tom Hogue