NOC expects production to hit one million b/d Sanalla says

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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  05/10/20172017-10-05
Word count:  350

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices were stable on Thursday on expectations that Saudi Arabia and Russia would extend production cuts, although record U.S. exports and the return of supply from a Libyan oilfield dragged on the market.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $55.83 per barrel at 0538 GMT, up 3 cents from their previous close.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a pledge by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers, including Russia, to cut oil output to boost prices could be extended to the end of 2018, instead of expiring in March 2018.

The statement came ahead of a visit by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to Moscow.

“Putin and Salman will most likely reach, but not announce, an agreement to extend the OPEC/non-OPEC production deal, though with a commitment to taper the cuts,” said consultancy Eurasia Group. The pact on cutting output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) took effect in January this year.

Despite this, there were factors holding back crude prices.

Sukrit Vijayakar, managing director of consultancy Trifecta, said that included the return of Libya’s giant Sharara oilfield on Wednesday after an armed brigade forced a two-day shutdown.

In the United States, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 remained weaker than Brent, trading at $49.95 per barrel, down 3 cents from their last close.

That came after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said late on Wednesday that U.S. crude oil exports jumped to 1.98 million bpd last week, surpassing the 1.5 million bpd record set the previous week. The increase has been triggered by the wide discount in U.S. WTI prices against international Brent crude prices WTCLc1-LCOc1, which makes U.S. oil exports attractive.

Beyond short-term market drivers, analysts at Barclays bank said oil demand could be seriously dented by improving fuel-efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles (EV).

“EV uptake and increased fleet fuel-efficiency could cut oil demand by around 3.5 million bpd in 2025,” the bank said. That is almost as much as major OPEC member Iran produces.

Should the uptake of EVs rise to one-third of new cars by 2040, as many industry analysts expect, up from just 1 percent today, that could “affect oil demand by around 9 million bpd”, Barclays said.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Sonali Paul

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SIVAJOTHI GNANATHEEVAM
3 days ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  05/10/20172017-10-05
Word count:  191

TRIPOLI/LONDON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Production at Libya's giant Sharara oilfield was resuming on Wednesday morning, three days after it was closed by an armed brigade, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.

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Reuters
The field, which had been pumping more than 230,000 barrels per day (bpd), began its restart at around 8 a.m. local time, NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla told Reuters.

He gave no details on how the restart had been achieved. Sharara was shut late on Sunday night by an armed brigade that issued a series of demands over salaries and other claims.

An engineer at the field said preparations for the restart were still being made early on Wednesday and that production would resume gradually.

Force majeure on loadings of Sharara crude was expected to be lifted later on Wednesday, a Libyan oil source said.

Production at Sharara has been repeatedly disrupted this year due to blockades by armed groups, protests and security problems.

The field, which has been producing up to 280,000 bpd, is crucial to a partial revival of Libya's oil output. The North African state had been pumping around one million bpd before the latest shutdown, Sanalla said.

Libya's NOC operates Sharara in partnership with oil companies Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.

(Reporting by Ahmed Elumami in Tripoli, Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Ayman al-Warfalli in Benghazi; editing by Jason Neely)
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3 days ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  04/10/20172017-10-04
Word count:  178

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Benghazi’s commercial port officially reopened on Sunday after a three-year closure due to fighting between rival factions in the east Libyan city.

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Reuters
To mark the opening Abdullah al-Thinni, prime minister of a government based in the east, arrived on board a tanker sent from the eastern city of Tobruk.

The port does not export oil, but imports gas and some petroleum products as well as general cargo, and local costs for these would be reduced by the port’s reopening, port spokesman Nasser Al-Maghrabi said.

“Today Benghazi port opened and a tanker from Tobruk entered as a message to the world that the port is safe and we are ready to receive tankers,” port manager Abdulazim Al-Abbar said by telephone.

“Until now we have not received notification of tankers arriving for exports and imports - for now we are starting up and waiting.”

Like Benghazi’s airport, the port had been closed since 2014 because of a conflict between forces loyal to eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar and an alliance of Islamists and other opponents.

Haftar declared victory in early July, though isolated skirmishes continued. Benghazi airport reopened in mid-July.

Reporting by Ayman al-Warfalli; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Dale Hudson
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3 days ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  04/10/20172017-10-04
Word count:  387

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices eased on Wednesday, with U.S. crude dipping below $50 per barrel, pulled down by caution that a rally that lasted for most of the third quarter would not extend through the last three months of the year.

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Reuters
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 were trading at $50 per barrel at 0417 GMT, down 42 cents, or 0.8 percent, from their last close. They fell below $50 per barrel earlier in the session.

Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 38 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $55.62 a barrel.

Traders said the drops came over concerns that a third-quarter market rally that had lifted Brent to mid-2015 highs by late September had been overdone.

“Fundamentals may not yet be strong enough to support a continued rally, especially in growth-dependent commodities such as oil,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Denmark’s Saxo Bank in a quarterly outlook to investors.

Analysts say that a so-called market rebalancing is now well underway, meaning that demand is no longer undershooting available supply. The re-balancing is a result of strong consumption and also due to efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and the first quarter of next year.

“Compliance with the OPEC production cuts was over 100 percent in August (meaning members produced less than their quotas, on average) and U.S. oil inventories have been declining for several months now,” said William O‘Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.

But rising production in the United States, which is not participating in the deal to cut output, has prevented prices from climbing further. U.S. production C-OUT-T-EIA hit 9.55 million bpd in late September, its highest level since July 2017 and not far off its 9.61 million bpd record from June 2015.

“The number of active drilling rigs in the U.S. increased last week, highlighting the fact that higher oil prices will inevitably lead to more production from U.S. shale. These factors have kept WTI oil in a relatively tight trading range for several months now,” O‘Loughlin wrote in a note to clients.

Drillers added six oil rigs looking for new production in the week to Sept. 29, bringing the total count up to 750, according to energy services firm Baker Hughes. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

Due largely to rising U.S. output, Saxo Bank’s Hansen said that “an extension of output curbs beyond March (2018) will be needed to ensure continued support for the oil market”.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford  
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3 days ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  04/10/20172017-10-04
Word count:  212

The World Bank, in concert with outside governments and other institutions, should help set up a fund to pay for urgently-needed repairs to infrastructure, Presidency Council (PC) head Faiez Serraj has said.

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Libya herald
There was an interdependence between Libya’s political and economic crises Serraj told World Bank MENA vice-president Hafez Ghanem in Tripoli yesterday. He pressed the bank to hold urgent technical meetings with the Government of National Accord’s (GNA) planning and finance ministers and Libyan experts. The PC needed support to solve what he described as the bottlenecks in terms of cash, water, sanitation, health and power as well as general infrastructure.

Serraj proposed to Ghanem that the World Bank, working with other institutions such as the African Development Bank and the islamic Development Bank as well as national governments, should establish a fund for reconstruction. The PC’s reports of the meeting did not mention any figure that Serraj might have had in mind.

Nor was it made clear where this proposed new fund would sit with the Stabilisation Facility for Libya, a $60 million programme which went live a year ago. This was intended to fund “quick wins” such as the repair of local power transformers, sewerage systems and roads damaged in fighting. A dozen international donors pledged $34 million.

The original plan had been for the PC to put in half the money. The programme, whose governing board includes representatives from the PC and UNSMIL, was due to end last month.
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3 days ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  03/10/20172017-10-03
Word count:  337

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Tuesday, declining for a second day and sapping more strength from a third-quarter rally, amid signs that a global glut in crude may not be clearing as quickly as some had hoped.

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Reuters
U.S. crude CLc1 was down 14 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $50.44 a barrel by 0149 GMT, after closing the previous session down $1.09, or 2.1 percent.

The U.S. benchmark posted a third quarter gain of around 12 percent, its strongest quarterly climb since the second quarter of 2016, but has now dropped nearly 5 percent from a six-month high reached on Thursday.

Brent crude LCOc1, the global benchmark, was down 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $55.93 a barrel. The contract fell 67 cents, or 1.2 percent, in the last session.

Brent had notched up a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent, the biggest increase for that quarter since 2004 and traded as high as $59.49 last week. It is down about 6 percent from that level.

“The fourth quarter is not too kind to the price of oil, as we switch from summer demand to expectations of winter demand,” said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers Alliance in Sydney. “A lot of (refinery) maintenance occurs at this time so feeder demand is not there.”

Iraq said on Monday that exports rose slightly in September from its southern oilfields, while an earlier Reuters survey indicated that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) overall boosted output.

Oil prices climbed last week on tension in Iraqi Kurdistan after the region’s independence vote, with Turkey threatening to close a pipeline that brings oil from the region in northern Iraq to the Mediterranean.

Turkey has not carried out the threat, analysts said.

The recent rally had also been driven by signs that a three-year crude glut is easing, helped by a production cut deal among global producers led by OPEC.

However, Middle Eastern oil producers are concerned the price rise will stir U.S. shale producers into more drilling and push prices lower again. Key OPEC producers consider a price above $60 as encouraging too much shale output.

One bullish sign was a letter from Libya’s National Oil Company on Monday that declared force majeure on deliveries from Sharara, the country’s largest oilfield.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin  
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3 days ago

Business News

Business News
Released:  03/10/20172017-10-03
Word count:  386

OPEC nations pumped slightly more crude in September as Libya’s biggest oil field returned to production.

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Bloomberg
Output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was 32.83 million barrels a day in September, a gain of 120,000 barrels a day from August, according to a Bloomberg News survey of analysts, oil companies and ship-tracking data.

Production in Libya, which along with Nigeria is exempt from output cuts, rebounded 30,000 barrels a day to 920,000 barrels in September as the Sharara field restarted after a halt of more than two weeks. Nigerian output increased by 20,000 barrels to 1.77 million barrels a day, just short of the 1.8 million barrels a day that could eventually lead to its participation in OPEC’s effort to reduce output.

Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s biggest producer, boosted production by 60,000 barrels a day to 10.06 million barrels, while Gulf neighbor Kuwait lifted output by 50,000 barrels to 2.76 million barrels a day. The recovery in production puts OPEC back to levels reached in July, when the group pumped 32.85 million barrels a day.

The compliance rate of the 12 members who agreed to curb their supply dropped to 82 percent, from 88 percent the month before, the survey showed.

Last month at a meeting in Vienna, OPEC and its allies including Russia stopped short of saying whether their existing deal should be prolonged when it expires at the end of March.

Price Recovery

The producers have enjoyed a recovery in oil prices as their efforts to draw down stockpiles helped rebalance the market. While a threat from Turkey to interrupt crude export flows from Iraqi Kurdistan also weighed on sentiment, there hasn’t yet been any disruption to shipments through the region’s only pipeline.

Brent, the global benchmark, touched a two-year closing high of $59.02 a barrel on Sept. 25. Prices traded at $55.59 as of 4:19 p.m. in London on Monday.

Libya’s Sharara field operated for most of September, but suffered another halt on Monday after an armed group forced workers to stop producing. The latest halt highlights the volatility of supply from the nation with Africa’s largest crude reserves. The prospect of Nigerian output breaching 1.8 million barrels a day was dealt a blow on Sept. 16, when Royal Dutch Shell Plc declared force majeure on Bonny Light crude loadings after the shutdown of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line by operator Aiteo.

With assistance by Wael Mahdi, Anthony Dipaola, Elisha Bala-Gbogbo, Mohammed Sergie, Salma El Wardany, and Stephan Kueffner
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SIVAJOTHI GNANATHEEVAM
3 days ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  02/10/20172017-10-02
Word count:  358

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Monday, pausing for breath after posting gains of as much as 20 percent in the third quarter, after a survey pointed to a slight increase in OPEC production in September.

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Reuters
U.S. crude was down 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $51.54 a barrel at 0346 GMT. The U.S. benchmark on Friday posted its strongest quarterly gain since the second quarter of 2016 and the longest streak of weekly gains since January.

Global benchmark Brent crude for December delivery was down 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $56.57 a barrel. On Friday, Brent for November delivery closed 13 cents higher at $57.54 a barrel, notching up a third-quarter gain of around 20 percent, the biggest gain in five quarters. It was the biggest third-quarter increase since 2004.

The contract reached its highest in more than two years early last week, and posted its fifth consecutive weekly gain. It was Brent’s longest weekly bull run since June 2016.

The price gains have been supported by anticipated demand from U.S. refiners resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey, but a quick resumption of shale production could put a dampener on prices.

“U.S. production should be soft over August and September, due to Hurricane-related shut-ins but should rebound” in the fourth quarter, Barclays Research said in a note.

Oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) also rose last month, gaining by 50,000 barrels per day (bpd), a Reuters survey found.

Iraqi exports increased and production edged higher in Libya, one of the OPEC producers exempt from a deal to curb output and support prices.

Middle Eastern oil producers are concerned the recent price rise will only stir U.S. shale producers into more drilling and push prices lower again.

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first week in seven after a 14-month drilling recovery stalled in August, energy services firm Baker Hughes said on Friday.

Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to Sept. 29, bringing the total count up to 750.

Hedge funds and other money managers raised their net long positions in U.S. crude futures and options in the week to Sept. 26, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) reported on Friday.

Managed money net long positions rose by 43,496 contracts to 251,788 contracts, the most since the week of Aug. 22, the CFTC said.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin and Christian Schmollinger
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Business News

Business News
Released:  02/10/20172017-10-02
Word count:  137

Interim prime minister in the Beida government, Abdullah Thinni, together with Ali Gatrani, the boycotting member of the Presidency Council, were the chief personalities at a ceremony today to mark the reopening of Benghazi port after three years of enforced closure and welcome the arrival of the Greek-owned general cargo vessel Lady Haloum.

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Libya herald
A large crowd had assembled at the port to take part in the ceremony following the go-ahead from Major-General Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, the military governor for the area from Ben Jawad to Derna. He visited it in July to assess its readiness for reopening and lifted the ban on its use on 23 September.

Yesterday, the acting port manager, Hussein Al-Shara who was appointed by Nazhuri while Mustafa Elabbar is away, told the Libya Herald that that the harbour had been checked over by military engineers to confirm that there was no unexploded ordinance and that the harbour pool had likewise been searched and cleared by divers.

Today’s ceremony was also attended by the acting mayor of Benghazi, Abdulrahman Elabbar, together with a number of leading maritime officials and managers of other ports in the eastern region.
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Business News

Business News
Released:  29/09/20172017-09-29
Word count:  279

As a rather bullish sentiment has fallen over the oil markets, Libyan oil production is now set to rise after disruptions at the Sharara oil field are now behind it, according to a new report by Bloomberg.

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Oil Price
Total output will reach 950,000 barrels per day as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) battles a supply glut to force an increase in global oil prices.

The Sharara field, the largest in the North African country, reached 230,000 bpd this week, according to an anonymous source that spoke to Bloomberg. In August, Libyan production had reached 1.05 million bpd, but weeks of unrest at major fields had since caused the growth to falter.

OPEC should approach Libya and Nigeria, the two exempted OPEC members who were allowed to continue raising their crude oil output despite the November 2016 deal, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh told journalists earlier this week. The official said that OPEC members are compliant with their lower production quotas at an “acceptable” level, but rising supply from Libya and Nigeria is hampering the cartel’s efforts to rebalance the oil market.

“OPEC’s actions are working and compliance is acceptable overall, although there needs to be some change,” Zanganeh said, as quoted by Bloomberg. “Changes are really related to Libya and Nigeria and the 100 percent compliance of everyone.”

The African duo had been granted exemptions from the OPEC deal due to their own versions of domestic strife. Instability and active militant groups have caused output in both countries to drop significantly in the months and years leading up to the Vienna summit that forged the quotas now in implementation.

Libya and Nigeria have collectively added about 550,000 bpd since the original deal was agreed to last year. That amount has offset about half of the output reduced by the rest of OPEC¬¬; the group agreed to cut production by 1.2 million bpd.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Business News

Business News

The Indonesian ambassador Raudin Anwar visited the Tripoli Chamber of Commerce (TCC) at its headquarters in the Libyan capital last week during which he stressed his country’s desire to activate and increase trade relations between the two countries.

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Libya herald
The ambassador, the TCC reported, also renewed his country’s invitation to the Libyan business community to participate in the 32nd edition of the Trade Expo Indonesia taking part in the Indonesian capital Jakarta 11-15 October.

The Expo offers three days free hotel accommodation and a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the Expo for participating delegates. The TCC will also be taking its own delegation to the Expo.

Libyan business leaders interested in attending the event are advised to contact the TCC Relations and Cooperation Department in order to register their interest via email on: rel.cop.tcci@gmail.com or by phone on 021-3345239 / 3333706  
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  29/09/20172017-09-29
Word count:  281

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices were mixed on Friday, but both Brent and U.S. crude were set to chalk up another weekly gain as investors bet that efforts to cut a global glut are working and that the demand outlook is improving.

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Reuters
U.S. crude CLc1 was down 8 cents at $51.48 a barrel at 0641 GMT, after earlier rising slightly. Still, the contract is heading for a fourth consecutively weekly gain and is on track for a 9 percent advance this month.

Brent LCOc1 rose 1 cent to $57.42 a barrel, heading for a fifth weekly climb and a nearly 10 percent gain for September.

The price gains, most of them in the last two-and-a-half weeks, have come as traders anticipated renewed demand from U.S. refiners that were resuming operations after shutdowns due to Hurricane Harvey.

Major world oil producers outside the United States have also indicated they will stick with output cuts to limit supply. They are getting support from Turkey’s threats to cut off a pipeline from the Kurdish region of Iraq after a referendum where Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favour of independence.

“(There is) an increasingly positive view from the supply side, with potential Kurdish production disruption, and a plethora of energy agencies suggesting global demand is increasing,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA in Singapore.

“The technical picture still looks positive for both contracts with the consolidation and gentle pull-backs thus far suggesting oil is pausing for breath at these levels,” he said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said this week he could use force to prevent the formation of an independent Kurdish state and might close the oil “tap”.

The Kurdish region exports about 500,000 barrels a day through a pipeline that runs through Turkey to the Mediterranean Sea.

Turkey promised on Thursday to deal only with the Iraqi government on crude, the office of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin  
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Contract News

Contract News Business News
Released:  28/09/20172017-09-28
Word count:  101

TRIPOLI, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- Libya's state-owned General Electricity Company on Wednesday signed a 370-million-USD contract with Greece's METKA to build a power plant in the eastern Libyan city Tobruk.

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Xinhua
The Libyan General Electricity Company said that the power plant would consist of four units, producing a total output of about 740MW.

The company confirmed that the project will take 15 months to complete, and that the first generating unit will start functioning in September 2018.

The signing of the contract was attended by the Libyan Foreign Minister, Mohamed Sayala, and Secretary General for International Economic Relations of the Greece's Foreign Ministry, Giorgos Tsipras, as well as officials of both companies.

Libyan cities suffer daily power blackouts that last for as long as eight hours a day, according to the Libyan Electricity Company.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  28/09/20172017-09-28
Word count:  309

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices fell on Thursday, with U.S. crude giving up some of the previous session’s gains that were driven by a surprise fall in inventories, while Brent moved further away from recent 26-month highs.

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Reuters
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 dipped 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $52.06 a barrel by 0533 GMT after rising 26 cents in the previous session to just below 5-month highs.

Brent LCOc1 was down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $57.79 a barrel, slipping further away from Tuesday’s more than two-year high of $59.49 following a near 1 percent fall in the previous session.

U.S. crude inventories USOILC=ECI fell 1.8 million barrels last week, the U.S. Energy Department said on Wednesday, versus forecasts for a 3.4 million-barrel build.

The crude draw provided some support to oil prices as refiners came back online following Hurricane Harvey last month, but gasoline stocks surprisingly rose and stocks of distillates were down by less than anticipated.

While the data gave a mixed picture, the outlook for demand has strengthened, said Ben le Brun, market analyst at OptionXpress in Sydney.

“Things are looking a little more optimistic, the most optimistic I have seen in the last couple of years,” le Brun said. “Certainly a WTI price above $60 a barrel by the end of the year is not a crazy belief.”

The International Energy Agency earlier this month raised its 2017 global oil demand growth estimate to 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) from 1.5 million bpd, pointing to stronger-than-expected demand growth in the United States and Europe.

Still, U.S. crude production rose to 9.55 million bpd last week, higher than before Harvey hit the Gulf Coast.

With Brent futures commanding their highest premium over WTI WTCLc1-LCOc1 in more than two years, U.S. crude has become increasingly competitive in foreign markets and exports hit a record 1.5 million bpd last week.

That complicates efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other major producers to push oil higher through output curbs, as every hike in price encourages more U.S. production.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin
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Business News

Business News

The possibility of increased partnerships with Russian companies on oil and gas exploration and production was discussed on September 23, 2017, by Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak.

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neftegaz.ru
The talks also covered potential cooperation with the Russians on marketing and training. Looking to pursue the idea, Novak invited Sanalla to further talks in Moscow in 10 days’ time when the Russian Energy Forum takes place.

The Russian side included the ministry’s director of international relations Roman Marshavin, Gazprom International managing director Andrey Fick and a large number of energy sector officials.

With rising Libyan production this year, there were complaints that this was seating into the 1.8m b/d figure – equivalent to a 2% cut in global production.

During the discussion Alexander Novak said that despite this, the reduction was reducing the international oil glut and that it was too early to decide whether to prolong it.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  27/09/20172017-09-27
Word count:  373

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Brent oil prices rose on Wednesday, hovering around a 26-month high hit in the previous session, after U.S. data showed an unexpected drop in crude stocks as refineries boosted output and amid threats from Turkey to cut crude exports from Iraq.

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Reuters
Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 20 cents, or 0.34 percent, at $58.64 a barrel, as of 0418 GMT. It settled down 1 percent on Tuesday, after earlier hitting $59.49, its highest since July 2015 and more than 34 percent above a 2017 low. U.S. crude for November delivery CLc1 rose 28 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $52.16, having settled down 0.7 percent after hitting a five-month high of $52.43 in the previous session.

Oil prices have been supported by output curbs of 1.8 million barrels per day by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), and cuts by other major producers, although U.S. crude has lagged behind Brent amid concerns that U.S. production growth could stoke oversupply.

U.S. crude stocks fell by 761,000 barrels last week as refineries boosted production, while gasoline inventories increased and distillate stocks fell, data from industry group American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday, in contrast with market expectations.

Refinery crude runs rose by 1.3 million barrels per day, API data showed.

U.S. crude inventories were seen rising for a fourth straight week, an extended Reuters poll showed on Tuesday. “There’s pretty strong upward momentum at the moment,” said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney, referring to a better-than-expected near-term supply balance outlook.

Crude oil production in Texas, one of the biggest producers of shale oil in the United States, fell less than 1 percent in July compared with a year ago, the state’s energy regulator said on Tuesday.

“Going forward, oil is likely to remain supported as supply disruptions, combined with solid global demand, will probably continue to lift prices,” ANZ said in a research note.

Monroe Energy, a subsidiary of Delta Air Lines (DAL.N), ran out of crude oil at its 185,000 barrel-per-day Trainer, Pennsylvania, refinery amid shipping delays due to rough seas caused by Hurricanes Jose and Maria, according to a source familiar with the company’s operations and Reuters shipping data.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release stocks data later in the day.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday repeated a threat to cut off the pipeline that carries 500,000-600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude from northern Iraq to the Turkish port of Ceyhan.

Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry Jacob-Phillips
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Business News

Business News
Released:  26/09/20172017-09-26
Word count:  145

From the ancient times of the Numidians, Libya has been famed for its horses and its horsemen. In Benghazi this week, this heritage will be celebrated in the Horsemen of Libya festival.

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Libya herald
The eight-day event which starts of Thursday will see some 60 horses and riders from all over the country take part in a series of events designed to show the courage and skill of competitors and the strength and speed of their mounts.

Under the Qaddafi regime, equestrianism was discouraged and what most riding was confined to the military. Despite the conflict of the last three years, horses and horsemanship have continued a post-Revolutionary revival. There has been a recovery in breeding and in auctions.

A fortnight ago the Libyan Horse Racing Authority began a five-week programme of racing at Tripoli’s Busetta course.

This week’s festival in Benghazi has attracted competitors in particular from Tripoli, Misrata and Surman. Besides equestrian events, there will be lectures and poetry readings. The week closes with a gala dinner at which winners will be presented with their trophies.
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  26/09/20172017-09-26
Word count:  340

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices extended gains on Tuesday, with Brent crude hitting a 26-month high, supported by Turkey’s threat to cut crude flows from Iraq’s Kurdistan region to the outside world.

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Reuters
London Brent crude for November delivery LCOc1 was up 46 cents at $59.48 a barrel by 0356 GMT after settling up 3.8 percent on Monday. Earlier it hit $59.49, the highest since July 10, 2015.

U.S. crude for November delivery CLc1 was up 15 cents at $52.37, after hitting $52.43, a five-month high.

Brent’s rise meant it extended gains for a fifth straight day, jumping from just over $55 a barrel a week ago, as OPEC and non-OPEC producers confirmed the market was well on its way toward rebalancing, while oil demand looked strong.

Also fuelling the jump on Tuesday was Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s threat on Monday to cut off the pipeline that carries oil from northern Iraq to the outside world, intensifying pressure on the Kurdish autonomous region over its independence referendum.

The pipeline to Turkey’s port of Ceyhan usually pumps between 500,000-600,000 barrels per day.

“The high compliance of producers in jointly curbing output as well as the news of (Turkey’s response to) the referendum have helped oil prices,” said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo. “Brent prices could top $60 (a barrel), supported by the short squeeze.”

U.S. crude has lagged behind in comparison amid a large oversupply exacerbated by Hurricane Harvey, which forced the closure of nearly 25 percent of U.S. refining capacity.

Refineries in Philadelphia have cut rates because crude deliveries have been slowed by rough seas as Hurricane Maria headed north along the Atlantic Coast.

The spread between WTI and Brent futures CL-LCO1=R widened to $7.17, its steepest since August 2015.

U.S. crude inventories likely rose by 2.3 million barrels last week, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday ahead of data by the Industry group the American Petroleum Institute.

Analysts forecast that stockpiles of gasoline likely fell by 1 million barrels, while distillate inventories, which include heating oil and diesel fuel, were projected to fall 2.5 million barrels.

The API is scheduled to release its data for last week at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Joseph Radford and Kenneth Maxwell
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News

The possibility of increased partnerships with Russian companies on oil and gas exploration and production was discussed yesterday by Mustafa Sanalla, the head of the National Oil Corporation (NOC), and Russian energy minister Alexander Novak.

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Libya herald
The talks, which took place in Vienna on the sidelines of the meeting of OPEC members and oil producers which are not part of the cartel, also covered potential cooperation with the Russians on marketing and training.

Looking to pursue the idea, Novak invited Sanalla to further talks in Moscow in ten days’ time when the Russian Energy Forum takes place. The Libyan team at yesterday’s discussions included the Libyan ambassador to Austria. The Russian side included the ministry’s director of international relations Roman Marshavin, Gazprom International managing director Andrey Fick and a large number of energy sector officials.

Also on the sidelines of the OPEC meeting, Sanalla had discussions with Algerian energy minister Mustapha Guitouni and the president of the country’s oil and gas corporation Sonatrach, Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour about them expanding their investment in Libyan exploration and production.

The Vienna meeting between OPEC members and other oil producers had been called to look at whether to extend the 1.8-million barrels-a-day production cut agreed last November and due to expire next March. Some OPEC members had wanted to include Libya in the cuts; it had originally been excluded because of the crisis and the resulting low production. With rising Libyan production this year, there were complaints that this was seating into the 1.8m b/d figure – equivalent to a two percent cut in global production.

In the event, the Novak said that despite this, the reduction was reducing the international oil glut and that it was too early to decide whether to prolong it.
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Business News

Business News
Released:  25/09/20172017-09-25
Word count:  383

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil prices stood little changed on Monday, keeping most of their gains from the previous session to hold near their highest levels in months, as major producers meeting in Vienna said the market was well on its way towards rebalancing.

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Reuters
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and several other producers have cut production by about 1.8 million barrels per day since the start of 2017, helping lift oil prices by about 15 percent in the past three months.

Kuwaiti Oil Minister Essam al-Marzouq, who chaired Friday’s meeting of the Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee, said supply cuts were helping cut global crude inventories to their five-year average, OPEC’s stated target.

London Brent crude for November delivery was down 3 cents at $56.83 a barrel by 0304 GMT, near the highest since March. U.S. crude for November delivery was down 8 cents at $50.58, having risen 0.2 percent on Friday.

Russia’s energy minister said no decision on extending output curbs beyond the end of March was expected before January, although other ministers suggested such a decision could be taken before the end of this year.

“There is still ample time to decide for producers whether to extend output curbs beyond March,” said Tomomichi Akuta, senior economist at Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting in Tokyo.

“Oil is relatively underpriced compared with other markets, but any steep rise would be offset by rising shale oil production.”

Attempts to curb supply have faced rising U.S. shale oil output. U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil rigs operating for a third week in a row as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as companies pared back on spending plans.

Hedge funds boosted bullish wagers on U.S. crude oil to the highest level in one month, data showed. Elsewhere, Nigeria is pumping below its agreed output cap, its oil minister said.

Oil also came under pressure from the dollar’s rise against euro after Germany’s election showed surging support for a far-right party that left Chancellor Angela Merkel scrambling to form a governing coalition.

Markets were also nervously eyeing developments in North Korea. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on Sunday said President Donald Trump wants to avoid nuclear war with North Korea and “will do everything we can” to avoid conflict.

Trump has dialed up the rhetoric against North Korea over the weekend, warning the country’s foreign minister that he and leader Kim Jong Un “won’t be around much longer,” as Pyongyang staged a major anti-U.S. rally.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Richard Pullin
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