Oil edges up on Saudi pledge to make real supply cuts

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Oil edges up on Saudi pledge to make real supply cuts
Released:  13/06/20172017-06-13
Word count:  375

Oil prices edged up early on Tuesday, lifted by statements that OPEC-leader Saudi Arabia was making significant supply cuts to customers, although rising U.S. output meant that markets remain well supplied.

Reuters
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $48.42 per barrel at 0044 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $46.21 per barrel, also up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent.

Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is leading an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut production by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of the first quarter of 2018 in order to prop up prices. Other countries, including top producer Russia, are also participating.

During the first half of the year, there were doubts over OPEC's compliance with its own pledges, as supplies, especially to Asia, remained high. Saudi officials now say they are making real cuts, including 300,000 bpd to Asia for July, although several Asian refiners said they were still receiving their full allocations.

"Crude oil prices rose on the back of further supportive talk from Saudi Arabia. Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said that inventories are declining and reductions will accelerate in the next three week," ANZ bank said.

Although other OPEC members, like Libya and Nigeria, are exempt from the cuts, and there have been doubts over the compliance of others, including Iraq, the club's supplies have been falling since the cut's start in January.

Trade data shows that OPEC shipments to customers averaged around 26 million bpd in the last six months of 2016, while they are set to average around 25.3 million bpd in the first half of this year.

Threatening to undermine OPEC's efforts to tighten the market is a relentless rise in U.S. drilling activity RIG-OL-USA-BHI, which has driven up U.S. output C-OUT-T-EIA by more than 10 percent since mid-2016, to over 9.3 million bpd.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) says production will rise above 10 million bpd by next year, challenging top exporter Saudi Arabia.

Overall, oil markets remain well supplied.

A sign of ample supplies is the Brent forward curve <0#LCO:>, which is in a shape known as contango, in which crude for delivery in half a year's time is around $1.50 per barrel more expensive than that for immediate dispatch, making it profitable to charter tankers and store fuel instead of selling it for direct use.

(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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Released:  17/08/20172017-08-17
Word count:  198

Libya's Sharara oil field is "working normally" and the situation at the field is stable following security breaches last week, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement on Wednesday.

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Reuters
The statement gave no details on output from the field, which is Libya's largest and had been producing up to 280,000 barrels per day (bpd).

The security breaches involved the theft of cars and mobile phones on the roads linking the field to surrounding oil and gas facilities.

An engineer working at Sharara said the breaches had hampered operations, causing a drop off in production of at least 130,000 bpd.

The NOC statement was issued after Chairman Mustafa Sanalla visited Sharara with other senior oil officials seeking to reassure workers about their safety and security.

"There were discussions about fixed and mobile security points and the necessity of reviewing security positions based on a risk analysis," the statement said.

It reiterated previous NOC statements that the security breaches were the result of individual actions and that the perpetrators had been punished. It said that two missing cars had been tracked.

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

Sharara's production is key to a revival in Libya's oil output, which surged to above 1 million bpd in late June, about four times higher than its level last summer.

(Reporting by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Greg Mahlich)
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Released:  17/08/20172017-08-17
Word count:  297

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices edged up early on Thursday, clawing back some ground after losses in the previous session.

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Reuters
Traders said the market was range-bound as falling crude inventories provided price support while high output was capping gains.

Brent crude futures, LCOc1 the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $50.43 per barrel at 0101 GMT, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $46.88 a barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.

The slight gains followed a more than 1 percent fall in the previous session.

Data published late on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed that commercial U.S. crude oil stocks C-STK-T-EIA have fallen by almost 13 percent from their peaks in March to 466.5 million barrels, well below this time last year.

"If inventory declines continue at this pace, stocks will fall back below the five-year average in around two months," said William O'Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia's Rivkin Securities.

"The pace of the declines indicates that the OPEC production cuts are having an effect, although the current oil price suggests that the market is skeptical about the longer-term prospects for rebalancing of the oil market," he added.

ANZ bank said the market on Wednesday seemed "to focus on the rise in (U.S.) production", which jumped by 79,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.5 million bpd last week, its highest level since July 2015, and 12.75 percent above the most recent low in mid-2016. C-OUT-T-EIA

Some traders said that the soaring U.S. output is eroding efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries which, together with non-OPEC producers like Russia, has pledged to restrict output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018 to tighten the market and prop up prices.

Brent prices are down by almost 12 percent since the start of the cuts in January.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford

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Released:  16/08/20172017-08-16
Word count:  376

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by declining U.S. crude inventories, although markets were still restrained by general oversupply.

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Reuters
The market focus was turning to the release of official Energy Information Administration data due later on Wednesday for a further update on inventories.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $51.07 per barrel at 0620 GMT, up 27 cents or 0.5 percent from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $47.75 a barrel, up 20 cents, or 0.4 percent.

U.S. crude inventories fell by 9.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 11 to 469.2 million, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

That compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 3.1 million barrels.

"The market took this as a mildly bullish report," said William O'Loughlin of Australia's Rivkin Securities.

However, gasoline stocks climbed by 301,000 barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a 1.1 million barrel decline. More broadly, analysts said ample supplies were preventing prices from moving much higher.

"Excessive supply... is continuing to weigh on oil prices... Not a lot has changed despite the OPEC and Russia efforts recently. While these producers have tried to limit their oil output, U.S. shale oil continues to rise," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries together with non-OPEC producers like Russia has pledged to restrict output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018.

Offsetting much of that effort, however, U.S. oil production has soared by almost 12 percent since mid-2016 to 9.42 million bpd. C-OUT-T-EIA

"OPEC and Russia still face an uphill battle in reducing the global supply surplus in the face of growth in output elsewhere (U.S. shale oil, Libya, Nigeria) and less than compliant behaviour in their midst (Iraq, UAE)," French bank BNP Paribas said.

On the demand side, analysts see a gradual slowdown in consumption growth.

In the United States, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie said gasoline demand was already peaking due to improving fuel efficiency and the rise of electric vehicles.

In China, state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said on Wednesday that gasoline demand would likely peak around 2025 and outright oil consumption would top out around 2030.

This means that oil demand from the world's two biggest consumers may soon stall, while consumption has already peaked in Europe and Japan.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Richard Pullin
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Released:  16/08/20172017-08-16
Word count:  268

Libya’s biggest oil field, Sharara, is increasing production and the Zueitina port is again allowing tankers to load, paving the way for the OPEC nation’s crude output to rebound.

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Bloomberg
Production at Sharara increased to 230,000 barrels a day Tuesday from 200,000 barrels on Sunday, according to a person familiar with the matter. Workers who had been kept from some areas because of security threats were provided with additional protection, the person said, asking not to be identified because the information is confidential. Also Tuesday, the Zueitina port resumed loading operations, Merhi Abridan, head of the Zueitina Worker’s Union, said by phone.

Libya wants to boost crude production as much as possible because it’s still exempt from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ agreement to cut supplies through March. Output climbed to a three-year high of 1.02 million barrels a day in July, the third consecutive monthly gain, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The supply gains from Libya have contributed to restraining crude prices in 2017, with Brent oil futures in London down about 10 percent since the start of the year.

Aframax Atlas Voyager, which was set to complete loading 370,000 barrels of crude from Zueitina after loading from Ras Lanuf port, will be allowed to finish its cargo, Abridan said by phone on Tuesday. Workers were promised their demands will be met, he said. They include getting 20 months of back pay, health insurance, annual leave, overtime and more port maintenance.

Security breaches at Sharara were an “individual action” and the field is secure, Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. said in a statement Sunday. The field has experienced several brief shutdowns in recent months, including a two-day closure in June due to a protest by workers. Pumping was interrupted for “hours” last week after armed protesters shut some facilities.
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Released:  15/08/20172017-08-15
Word count:  384

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices steadied in early Asian trade on Tuesday after sharp falls the session before to the lowest in about three weeks as a stronger U.S. dollar and a drop in Chinese refining runs hit the market.

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Reuters
Global benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $50.86 at 0325 GMT. That was just above their 100-day moving average, briefly breached in the previous session.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 were up 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $47.66 a barrel.

Oil prices tumbled more than 2.5 percent on Monday in volatile trade as the dollar strength and the demand concerns in China, the world's second-largest oil user, weighed on sentiment. A stronger dollar tends to limit the demand for oil for buyers paying in other currencies. Both Brent and WTI had reached two-month highs on Aug. 10.

"Stale speculative long positioning and a reluctance to hold unprofitable positions has been the main force behind the oil rally running out of steam over the last few sessions," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA.

Chinese oil refineries operated in July at their lowest daily rates since September 2016, official data showed on Monday, to ease brimming inventories as state-owned oil giants faced off independents in a retail petrol price war.

Analysts said the drop was steeper than expected, exacerbating concerns that a glut of refined fuel products could weaken Chinese demand for oil.

The dollar firmed on Tuesday after North Korea's leader signalled that he would delay plans to fire a missile near Guam, further easing tensions and prompting investors to move back into riskier assets.

The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, climbed 0.4 percent on Monday and was up 0.1 percent on Tuesday.

Oil prices had earlier on Monday been supported by reports that Libya's top oilfield had cut its output by 30 percent on security concerns.

Efforts by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other oil producers to limit output have helped lift Brent past $50 a barrel, but concerns remain that these efforts could be undermined by producers in the U.S. and other countries.

U.S. shale oil production is expected to grow for its ninth consecutive month in September to 6.15 million barrels per day, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.

"Brent oil may fall more to $50.09 per barrel," said Reuters technical commodities analyst Wang Tao, citing charts showing Brent's wave pattern and a Fibonacci ratio analysis.

Reporting by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Joseph Radford and Christian Schmollinger  
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Released:  15/08/20172017-08-15
Word count:  304

French government technical expertise organisation Expertise France is planning to set up a microfinance system in Libya backed by local partners. The purpose is to provide finance to Libyans who do not have access to traditional forms of loans.

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Libya herald
A workshop on finance for Libyan SMEs (small and medium enterprises) organised in Tunis today by EU-backed SLEIDSE (“Support to Libya for Economic Integration, Diversification and Sustainable Employment”), itself operated by Expertise France, was told that the aim is to help 2,000 new enterprises within the first three years, in particular those set up by women and young people.

The project is being advised by French microfinance organisation ADIE, founded in 1989 and which has since set up affiliates in Tunisia, Greece, Belgium, Luxembourg and Kosovo.

A spokesperson for ADIE said the loans would not exceed LD between LD 2,000 to LD 7,500 per entrepreneur in the first year, rising to a maximum of LD 25,000 by year three if the project was proving successful. No interest would be levied, although a commission of 15 percent would be charged by the operators to cover their services. They would purchase goods on behalf of the entrepreneur.

According to ADIE, LD 7.5 million would have to be raised for the Libya project: LD 5.3 million for the disbursements over the three years and LD 2.2 million to cover costs.

Three microfinance centres would be set up, the first in Tripoli, a second in the east of the country and the third in the south.

In addition, France Expertise and its Libyan partners (which have still to be found) would provide clients access to business counselling and training free of charge, but would need to find microfinance technicians to teach clients how to effectively run a business within the context of the Libyan setting.

After the first year, ADIE hopes that a million dinars in loans will have been provided to 225 people. By the end of the second year, it expect to see a sharp rise, with 1,000 entrepreneurs being helped with loans, and by the end of the third year 1,400 people with loans totalling LD 5 million.  
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Released:  14/08/20172017-08-14
Word count:  149

National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla was in Tobruk yesterday to assess the future of the Higher Petroleum Institute which used to be Libya’s main institution for training oil engineers.

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Libya herald
It closed at time of revolution and, despite various moves since then to reopen it, remains closed.

The NOC, however, wants to see it operating again and in June set up a committee headed by Shaaban Agha to carry out feasibility studies regarding its reopening. These include the costs involved and whether the existing buildings are fit for purpose or a new centre needs to be built.

In his meeting yesterday in Tobruk with Agha and committee member Abdullah Al-Hadad, Sanalla confirmed NOC’s intention to reactivate the institute as soon as possible. They discussed the obstacles involved, and the whether or not the institute should continue as before or be developed in other ways.

The committee’s ideas on the use of the existing buildings at the institute’s current location were presented, but it was oted that maintenance work was needed. Alternatives also needed to be evaluated.
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Released:  14/08/20172017-08-14
Word count:  315

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Monday as a slowdown in Chinese refining activity growth cast doubts over its crude demand outlook, while rising U.S. shale output suggested supplies would likely remain high.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures, LCOc1 the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $51.94 per barrel at 0253 GMT, down 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $48.74 a barrel, down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent.

Chinese refineries processed 0.4 percent more crude oil in July than a year earlier at 45.5 million tonnes, or about 10.71 million barrels per day (bpd), data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday.

This would be the lowest amount on a daily basis since September 2016, according to Reuters calculations based on official data. The International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Friday that it expects 2017 oil demand growth of 1.5 million bpd, up from a previous expectation of 1.4 million bpd.

Overall, markets remain well supplied thanks to strong output.

"Demand is outperforming expectations amongst both developed and emerging markets... However, global crude inventories remain bloated and there are considerable uncertainties heading into 2018," BMI Research said in a note, including the possibility of rising supplies.

Shale production in the largest U.S. oilfield should rise by as much as 300,000 bpd by December, according to industry forecasts.

Oil production from the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico is closely watched because its low costs and rapid growth have pressured efforts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to drain a global crude supply glut.

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second time in the last three weeks, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices.

Drillers added 3 rigs looking for new oil in the week to Aug. 11 bringing the total count up to 768, the most since April 2015, General Electric Co's (GE.N) Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin
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Tripoli, 10 August 2017(Lana) The President of the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord discussed with the Korean Ambassador return of Korean companies to complete suspended contracted projects.

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LANA - Libya news agency
Al Serraj invited Korean companies to return to Libya to resume work on projects they contracted with Libyan authorities especially in the electricity sector.

On his part, the Korean Ambassador said companies were interested in returning to work in Libya, to help alleviate the power shortage in the country.

=Lana=
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Released:  11/08/20172017-08-11
Word count:  399

SEOUL (Reuters) - Oil prices fell nearly 1 percent on Friday to hit two-week lows, dragged lower by persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude inventories.

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Reuters
Investors were also keeping a close eye on the broad market impact of tensions between the United States and North Korea. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was at $51.42 a barrel at 0524 GMT, down 48 cents, or 0.92 percent from its last close. That was the lowest since July 27.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 44 cents, or 0.91 percent, at $48.15 per barrel, reaching the lowest since July 26.

Oil prices touched 2-1/2 month highs on Thursday, but retreated to close down around 1.5 percent, with U.S. prices slipping back below $50 per barrel amid ongoing oversupply concerns.

"Crude oil prices failed to hold recent gains, with a nervous market starting to doubt recent falls in inventories," ANZ bank said in a note.

"Supply-side issues also weighed on prices, with data showing Libyan production in July hit its highest level for the year." Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.

"I think the issue that is affecting the market is the general risk sentiment of saber-rattling between Washington and Pyongyang," said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Official data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world's top oil consumer, fell sharply by 6.5 million barrels in the week ending to Aug. 4, as refiners ramped up run rates to the highest in 12 years due to strong demand. But doubts remain over whether enough crude would be consumed to end a global glut after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported on Thursday another increase in the oil cartel's production, even though it raised outlook for oil demand in 2018.

OPEC said its oil output rose by 173,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) in July to 32.87 million bpd.

Faced with lingering global glut woes, OPEC and some non-OPEC members including Russia in May extended oil production cuts to reduce 1.8 million bpd.

Meanwhile, Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft is considering resuming production in mature fields after the OPEC-led production cut agreement, a representative of the company said on Thursday.

Rising output from Nigeria and Libya is further undermining the oil producers' attempt to limit oil production. Nigeria and Libya are exempted from curbing output as they seek to restore supplies hurt by internal conflicts.

Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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Released:  10/08/20172017-08-10
Word count:  150

The National Oil Corporation (NOC) has been looking today at what it can do through its own efforts to restore damaged and decaying oil production infrastructure and by extension what work will need to undertaken by outside companies.

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Libya herald
NOC chief Mustafa Sanalla met the boss of the state oil firm’s wholly-owned oil service company Jowfe Oil Technology, Majdi Jibril Ed-dersi.

According to NOC they looked at how the entire infrastructure had deteriorated since 2011. Jowfe presented an assessment of damage and deterioration that needed to be repaired and the maintenance that had to be carried out at every level. This also covered the acquisition and warehousing of spare parts.

Ed-dersi explained that Jowfe was currently re-establishing its Benghazi operation which included refurnishing its offices in the city so employees could return to work. He said that the Benghazi authorities had been helpful and encouraging with the renewal of licences, commercial registration and the re-activation of banking relations.

Sanalla thanked Ed-dersi and everyone at Jowfe for their efforts and promised to support the company, while at the same time urging it to speed up its return to normal operations.
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Released:  10/08/20172017-08-10
Word count:  304

TOKYO (Reuters) - Oil futures inched down on Thursday despite official figures showing U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected, with an analyst saying the market had settled into a range.

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Reuters
Brent crude, LCOc1 the global benchmark, was down 4 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $52.66 at around 0232 GMT, after earlier trading as high as $52.80. It closed up 1.1 percent on Wednesday, snapping two days of declines.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 3 cents at $49.52, after rising to $49.69 earlier. The contract gained 0.8 percent in the previous session.

"We have settled into a range. The U.S. dollar is slightly stronger, which may be creating a bit of negativity, but broadly I think the market is trading sideways at the moment," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney.

U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week as refineries boosted output to the highest percentage of capacity in 12 years, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

U.S. oil inventories USOILC=ECI dropped by 6.5 million barrels last week, the government data showed, steeper than the expected decrease of 2.7 million barrels.

"It does create the hope that we are going to end the summer driving season with inventories below the year before, which would be a positive development," Spooner said.

Refiners processed nearly 17.6 million barrels of crude, surpassing a record set in May and the most for any week since the U.S. Department of Energy started keeping data in 1982. [EIA/S]

But a surprise increase in gasoline stocks is capping gains in oil prices and tempering attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers to boost prices that are about half of levels three years ago.

They are cutting output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) under an agreement set to run until March 2018.

The deal has supported prices but a recovery in output in Libya and Nigeria, OPEC members exempt from the cut, has also complicated the initiative.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford
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Released:  09/08/20172017-08-09
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Al Beidha, 8 August 2017(Lana) The Al Beidha-based Central Bank of Libya has announced that it was distributing LD 284 million to commercial branches all over Libya as of Thursday August 10.

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LANA - Libya news agency
The money was intended to alleviate the cash shortages at commercial banks, the Bank said, adding that the amount would be distributed evenly between the branches in different regions.

=Lana=
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Released:  09/08/20172017-08-09
Word count:  375

TOKYO (Reuters) - Crude futures fell for a third day on Wednesday despite a bigger than expected fall in U.S. oil inventories reported by an industry group, with doubts lingering over OPEC's ability to restrain supply as promised.

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Reuters
Benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was down 24 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $51.90 a barrel at 0233 GMT. In the previous session, it settled down 0.4 percent.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) CLc1 was down 15 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.02 a barrel, after falling 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

Crude stockpiles in the U.S. dropped more than expected last week as imports declined and refinery runs increased, while gasoline inventories increased unexpectedly, the American Petroleum Institute said late on Tuesday.

Crude inventories declined by 7.8 million barrels in the week to 478.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.7 million barrels. [API/S]

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly petroleum status report at 10:30 a.m. ET (1430 GMT) on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, it trimmed its forecast for gains in U.S. oil production for 2018, though it increased its outlook for output growth this year.

"Oil is stuck in a range of $45-$50 for WTI and a bit more for Brent," said Bob Takai, president at Sumitomo Corp Global Research in Tokyo. "U.S. shale is slowing down a bit looking at the rig count as they cannot make money when oil is under $50."

The market seems immune to bullish signs of falling stockpiles as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other major producers struggle to maintain compliance with a deal to cut output.

A recovery in Libya's oil output and higher production in Nigeria have complicated OPEC's efforts to curb supply, while U.S. shale oil drillers have ramped up production.

Libya and Nigeria are OPEC countries that are exempt from the agreement to limit production through March 2018.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee said on Tuesday that they expect greater adherence to the pact to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.

Saudi state oil company Aramco will cut allocations to its customers worldwide in September by at least 520,000 barrels per day (bpd), sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

"With only a few weeks left of the U.S. summer driving season, investors are starting to debate whether the current OPEC production cuts will offset the subsequent falls in demand in North America," ANZ Research said in a note.

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Joseph Radford
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Released:  08/08/20172017-08-08
Word count:  427

Oil prices slipped in Asian trading on Tuesday following a recovery in output at Libya's largest oil field and as doubts about OPEC-led production cuts continue to drag.

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Global benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $52.26 a barrel at 0629 GMT, after dipping 0.1 percent in the previous session.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 were down 7 cents, or 0.1 percent, at $49.32 a barrel, having fallen 0.4 percent on Monday.

Production from Libya's 270,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption when armed protesters broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday.

Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like Russia.

The recovery of the North African country's output has complicated OPEC's efforts to curb supply, fuelling doubts over the effectiveness of the production cuts. Libya churned out 1.03 million bpd in July, according to the latest Reuters survey.

OPEC output hit a 2017-high in July and its exports marked a record.

Still, Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, plans to cut supplies to most buyers in Asia by as much as 10 percent in September, sources told Reuters on Tuesday. Asian buyers have been mostly shielded from the cuts until now.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways to boost compliance with the deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.

"Assuming that nothing comes from OPEC/non-OPEC's technical meeting in Abu Dhabi today, oil's near term fate will most likely be determined by the official U.S. Department of Energy inventory data tomorrow evening Asia time," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration, part of the Energy Department, will releases its weekly petroleum status report at 1430 GMT on Wednesday, giving details on stockpiles and refinery runs.

U.S. crude inventories were expected to post their sixth straight weekly decline last week, while refined product stockpiles likely fell too, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday. [EIA/S]

Later on Tuesday the American Petroleum Institute, will release its own report on stockpiles and refinery throughput.

Oil output in the United States has remained high, although Baker Hughes data on Friday showed a cut of one drilling rig in the week to Aug. 4. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

Elsewhere, crude oil imports to China for the January to July period rose 13.6 percent from the year ago period to 247 million tonnes, customs data showed on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Henning Gloystein in Singapore; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Joseph Radford  
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The state-owned General Electricity Company of Libya (GECOL) and German energy giant Siemens signed an MoU last Saturday in Germany that would pave the way for the return of the German company to Libya to complete its many outstanding projects.

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Libya herald
These include the completion of the Ubari power plant in southern Libya, which is reported to be over 90 percent complete, as well as providing urgently needed maintenance to a number of other power plants.

Well-placed sources told Libya Herald that Siemens has been able to ‘‘establish a close relationship between the German and Libyan governments’’. The recent meeting in Germany ‘‘focused on how Siemens supports GECOL in achieving stability of generation transmission’’. The agreement signed ‘‘covers GECOL priorities and support that Siemens will provide especially with regards to fast-tracking the projects and giving high priorities to the service needs’’.

The sources said that Siemens engineers had already performed ‘‘several visits to (power plants at) Sarir, Benghazi and Misrata to bring existing units back to full capacity on to the grid prior to the signature of this agreement’’. The Ubari plant is also ‘‘clarified and in the final phase of commissioning soon’’.

Asked if there were any possible sticking points to the implementation of the agreement, the sources said that there were none ‘‘except funding which is being clarified between GECOL and the Central Bank (of Libya)’’.

It is not clear if this agreement will indeed lead to increased power generation and hence a reduction of power cuts across Libya. The Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council/Government of National Accord had promised that power cuts would be reduced this year. However, as temperatures have risen this summer, acute power cuts – including some total blackouts have already hit the country.

The main obstacles to foreign technicians from all companies have been security and payment. Some companies used to working in high risk zones have indicated that they can mitigate some security risks, which leaves the issue of payment of outstanding monies.

The collapse in world crude oil prices and the fall in Libya’s oil production has reduced the Libyan state’s revenues. Libya is operating on a recurring annual budget deficit and its annual revenues fail to cover even state-sector salaries. It is surviving by dipping into fast diminishing foreign currency reserves.

However, fighting around the main oilfields has stopped and the National Oil Corporation has succeeded in increasing oil production in 2017 to above the one million barrels per day mark. This should give the Libyan authorities some leeway if they decide to prioritise power generation by diverting much need scarce foreign currency to foreign electricity contractors
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  07/08/20172017-08-07
Word count:  387

Oil prices edged lower on Monday but still held near nine-week highs, supported by robust U.S. jobs data last week and a slight fall in the U.S. drill rig count, even as rising output from OPEC capped crude markets.

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Reuters
Global benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 6 cents, or 0.11 percent, at $52.36 a barrel at 0309 GMT. U.S. crude futures CLc1 were down 7 cents, or 0.14 percent at $49.51 per barrel.

Prices for both benchmarks have been on the rise, holding near their highest since late May, when oil producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) extended a deal to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next March.

"Crude oil prices rose strongly as investors viewed (U.S. jobs) data as a positive sign for oil demand in the United States ... A small fall in the number of drill rigs operating in the U.S. also supported prices," ANZ bank said in a note.

U.S. employers added an above-forecast 209,000 workers in July and raised wages, the U.S. Labor Department said on Friday in its monthly jobs report.

U.S. drillers cut one oil rig in the week to Aug. 4, bringing the total count down to 765, energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHGE.N) also said on Friday. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

Still, the U.S. rig count has been trending upwards since mid-May, and oil production in the United States hit 9.43 million bpd in the week to July 28, the highest level since August 2015. C-OUT-T-EIA

Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, said, supportive news such as big drawdown in U.S. supplies would be needed to push U.S. WTI prices above $50 a barrel.

"This week, weekly data out of the U.S. should be really influential .... if (U.S. daily production) makes further gains given the high prices, I think that would be a catalyst for downside news," McCarthy said.

Meanwhile, OPEC's crude oil exports in July rose to a record high of 26.11 million bpd, most of which came from Nigeria, according to a report by Thomson Reuters Oil Research last week.

Libya, though, one of the OPEC members who has been exempt from the OPEC-led production cuts, was facing a gradual shutdown of its 270,000-bpd Sharara oil field after the closure of a control room.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are set to meet in Abu Dhabi on Monday and on Tuesday to discuss ways to boost compliance with their supply reduction agreement.

Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue
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Business News

Business News
Released:  07/08/20172017-08-07
Word count:  78

As part of Benghazi’s normalisation, plans are in hand to reopen the Suq Al-Arab market complex between Sabri and Salmani, possibly as early as next week.

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Libya herald
During the height of the insurgency, the market was hit on a number of occasions and forced to close.

Yesterday, the head of Benghazi’s municipal guard, which monitors traders and their businesses, met with a group of merchants and members of the Benghazi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organise its reopening.

The move follows an instruction from acting mayor of Benghazi Elabbar to set up a committee to oversee its rehabilitation and return to daily use.  
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Business News

Business News

Tripoli, 3 August 2017(Lana) The General Electricity Company of Libya 'GECOL' has signed an agreement with the German Siemens AG Company to resolve the problem of power demand in Libya.

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LANA - Libya news agency
The agreement which was signed in Munich by the 'GECOL' Chairman of the Board Abdul Majeed Hamza and Siemens Chairman Joe Kaeser in the attendance in Libyan Foreign Minister Mohamed Siala and the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel according to the Information Office of the GNA Government.

As part of efforts to find radical solutions to the problem of growing power demand, and to ease the power outages on Libyan cities , the 'GECOL' and Siemens have reached an agreement to provide power for Libya.

The signing was attended by the GNA Minister of Foreign Mohamed Siala and the German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gibriel, the Office said.

=Lana=
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