Oil edges up on Saudi pledge to make real supply cuts

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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
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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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  26/07/20172017-07-26
Word count:  277

Supportive crude prices and strong results from energy firms Subsea 7 and Tullow Oil helped European shares inch higher on Wednesday, while banks weighed on index-level gains as investors awaited a Fed policy decision and UK GDP figures.

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Reuters
The pan-European STOXX 600 gained 0.3 percent, in line with euro zone stocks and blue-chips, as oil and gas stocks gained 0.8 percent. Subsea 7 rose to the top of the STOXX, up 5.2 percent after the oil services firm reported second-quarter earnings above forecasts and lifted its revenue guidance for the year.

Tullow Oil gained 3.1 percent after higher output from new fields helped the Africa-focused oil producer to a 46 percent rise in sales revenue to $788 million over the first half, though it also reported impairment charges due to stubbornly low oil prices.

Five years after ECB chief Mario Draghi's "whatever it takes to preserve the euro" speech which set the foundations for strong gains in the currency, the euro was again front and center of investors' minds as recent strength weighed on earnings growth expectations for Euro zone corporates, particularly those most dependent on exports, such as industrials firms.

With a quarter of euro zone MSCI Europe companies having reported so far 40 percent beat earnings estimates while 48 percent missed, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The industrials sector was seeing the worst performance with 86 percent of firms missing expectations.

Among top fallers on the day, shares in chipmaker ASM International fell 6.1 percent in early deals after it reported record order intake for the second quarter.

Expectations are high for tech firms such as ASM, whose shares have gained 30 percent this year as demand for chips grows robustly.

UniCredit led losses on the banking index which was the worst-performing on the day. The Italian bank's shares were down 0.7 percent after it said it had suffered a cyber attack giving unauthorized access to Italian clients' data.

Reporting by Helen Reid, editing by Kit Rees
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Released:  26/07/20172017-07-26
Word count:  60

Tripoli, 25 July 2017(Lana) A meeting was held yesterday at the headquarters of the Libyan Football Association, attended by the President of the General Youth and Sports Authority and presidents of football unions.

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LANA - Libya news agency
The President of the General Youth and Sports Authority Ziyad Greira declared that the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord has allocated the sum of 30 million Libyan dinars to support elected sports clubs covering mainly the sports activities rather than other areas.

Greira said separate meetings with unions leaders were planned to pinpoint the problems they faced.

=Lana=
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Released:  25/07/20172017-07-25
Word count:  94

GECOL has added 60MW of new capacity wth the opening of two turbines in Tripoli.

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Libya herald
The new plant, at Tripoli West power station was opened by Ali Mohammed Sassi, the state electricity supplier’s new chief executive. Sassi was installed earlier this month after Presidency Council (PC) head Faeiz Serraj fired the GECOL entire board earlier this month in the face of rising fury at regular and extended power cuts.

While the work on the new generating sets was started under the old management, Sassi said that he believed that the new capacity would make a real difference in coping with the high summer power demand in the capital.
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Released:  25/07/20172017-07-25
Word count:  46

Tripoli, 24 July 2017(Lana) the Presidency Council of the Government of National Accord has issued Decision No 640 of 2017, setting custom tax categories for some imported items and goods.

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LANA - Libya news agency
The first article called for a tax reduction on imported drugs and medical supplies to Zero%.

The second article called for the decision to be promptly put in force by the competent authorities and for all rules that contradict it to be null and void.

=Lana=
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Italy’s Aeneas consortium which earlier this month won the contract to build new international and domestic terminals at Tripoli International Airport, says that the project will see numerous subcontracts going to local companies.

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Libya herald
“Many job opportunities for locals will be available,” Alessio Bucaioni, the commercial director of Consorzio Aeneas, told the Libya Herald.

That will not just be for the construction period, he added, pointing out that statistics in Europe showed that a thousand airport jobs were created for every million passengers.

The international terminal is to have a capacity of 4.5 million passengers a year.

The two terminals are to be built on the site of the old one, destroyed in 2014. They would be “appealing and functional” and with better capacity than other airports in North Africa, Bucaioni stated, adding that all systems would in line with international standards and regulations. The design was being approved by Libyan authorities. It was also being supervised by Italy’s ENAC.

The consortium, which he said was formed in September last year specifically for the Tripoli project, consists of five companies: Bari-based Gruppo Mazzitelli , Axitea SpA (Milan) which specialises in security systems, Rome construction and engineering consultants Two Seven, Escape and Lion Consulting. Although there were no plans to expand the consortium, other suppliers would be used, he added.

“Anyone who is in a position to support us in the implementation of the project would be welcome on board,” he declared.

According to him, the five have been working in airport projects for the past 20 years and have more than 70 years’ experience in infrastructure construction. They had, he stated, been involved in design and providing systems at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, Milan’s Malpensa, Catania and Cagliari as well as operating systems at numerous other airports in Italy, India, Spain and Kosovo. They had been contacted by the Italian foreign ministry last September to show the Presidency Council’s transport minister Milad Matouk what they had achieved at Catania.

“In Catania we realised in 2003 a similar terminal fully equipped and operational in six months”.

In line with all international construction contracts, the consortium would place a bond with the ministry, adding that this was proof of its confidence in being able to implement the project.

“No company would take the chance of issuing performance bonds unless it is perfectly sure to be able to carry out the project in full and to the utmost satisfaction of its counterpart,” he stated.

“Our target is to work at our best and bring to completion an excellent project for the Libyan population to enjoy,” Bucaioni insisted.

“We signed this contract because we are sure that we are in a position to finalise the project in the best way and within the accepted deadline.”
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  24/07/20172017-07-24
Word count:  340

Oil prices gained on Monday after a steep fall the session before, buoyed by expectations that a joint OPEC and non-OPEC meeting later in the day may address rising output in Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC members so far exempt from a push to cut production.

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Reuters
Ministers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other non-OPEC producers gather in the Russian city of St Petersburg on Monday to discuss the pact to curb output by 1.8 million bpd through the end of March 2018.

The committee may recommend a conditional cap on Nigerian and Libyan oil production, sources familiar with the talks said, although some analysts were deeply skeptical the group would make such a move.

"The committee may issue a statement on cooperation in production cuts, but output cuts by Libya and Nigeria would be next to impossible considering Libya was just re-emerging from the civil war, for example," said Kaname Gokon, strategist for commodities brokerage Okato Shoji in Japan.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Libya and Nigeria should cap output when their output stabilizes, the Financial Times reported.

London Brent crude for September delivery was up 24 cents at $48.30 a barrel by 0316 GMT on Monday. The contract settled down $1.24, or 2.5 percent, on Friday after a consultancy forecast a rise in OPEC production for July despite the pledge to rein in output. NYMEX crude for September delivery was up 17 cents at $45.94.

Kuwait's oil minister, Essam al-Marzouq, said on Saturday that compliance was good with oil production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries and that deeper curbs were possible.

Meanwhile, OPEC Secretary General Mohammad Barkindo said on Sunday that a rebalancing of the oil market is progressing more slowly than expected, but will speed up in the second half of 2017.

Elsewhere, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan traveled to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait on Sunday, the Gulf states' official news agencies reported, as part of a diplomatic tour aimed at healing an Arab rift with Ankara's ally Qatar.

U.S. oil drillers cut one rig in the week to July 21, according to data from Baker Hughes.

The United States is considering financial sanctions on Venezuela that would halt dollar payments for the country's oil, sources told Reuters, which could severely restrict the OPEC nation's crude exports.

Reporting by Osamu Tsukimori; Editing by Peter Cooney and Joseph Radford
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Released:  21/07/20172017-07-21
Word count:  242

Oil prices nudged up on Friday ahead of a key meeting of major oil producing nations next week, but held below the $50 per barrel level that was briefly breached for the first time in 6 weeks in the previous session.

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Reuters
International benchmark Brent crude futures rose 6 cents to $49.36 per barrel in thin trading by 0116 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.99 per barrel, up 7 cents.

During the previous trading session both benchmarks rose to their highest levels since early June in choppy trading, having been pushed higher by data showing U.S. crude and fuel inventories fell sharply last week.

"The impact of strong drawdown in inventories announced earlier this week was still lingering in the market," ANZ said in a research note.

Despite the drop, U.S. oil stocks, at roughly 490 million barrels, remain well above the five-year average, while U.S. production C-OUT-T-EIA has increased almost 12 percent since mid-2016 to 9.4 million bpd.

An abundance of global crude supplies has put pressure on oil prices and key members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are scheduled to meet non-members in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday.

OPEC, together with some non-members like Russia, has pledged to reduce the global glut with a 1.8 million-barrel per day (bpd) production cut between January this year and March 2018.

The market has been watching reports that the world's top crude producer, Saudi Arabia, is working with other countries to draw down stocks and reduce supply, particularly as other OPEC members, including Iraq and Libya, are planning increases in output.

"Brent oil still targets $50.35 per barrel," said Reuters technical commodities analyst Wang Tao.

Writing by Fergus Jensen; Editing by Richard Pullin  
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Released:  21/07/20172017-07-21
Word count:  100

Benghazi, 20 July 2017(Lana) The Chairman of the Board of the National Oil Company Mustafa Sun'allah has said that re-opening of the Benina Airport would be would be a logistical milestone that would allow oil companies a return to work in Libya.

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LANA - Libya news agency
NOC support for all of its companies would continue including and foremost those services companies, Suna'allah said at a meeting with CEOs of the oil companies, indicating that there was a need for the companies to work together and offer support for one another.

The meeting which was held at Arabian Gulf Oil Company 'AGOCO' was attended along with the Chairman of the NOC, by the chairmen of the board of oil companies, the Member of Parliament Yusuf Al Aguri, the CEOs of AGOCO, Mellita for Oil and Gas, Al Waha, Sirte and Al Harouj and several other companies.

=Lana=
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Released:  20/07/20172017-07-20
Word count:  186

Transport and maritime authorities in Benghazi say they want to reopen the city’s port as soon as possible.

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Libya herald
Once the Libyan National Army (LNA) has declared the area safe, the port could be quickly brought back into operation, they agreed in discussions .

Efforts to reopen it were given a boost on Sunday with a fact-finding visit by Abdul Razzaq Al-Nazhuri, the chief of staff and military governor between Ben Jawad and Derna.

The port was vital to the economy for Benghazi, he said during his visit. Its closure over the past three years had significantly hampered trade and economy in the city, resulting in a scarcity of goods and high prices. His inspection, he explained, was part efforts to assess the effects of the battle to liberate the city in the port itself and see what needed to be done to fully reopen it.

Adjacent to so much of the fighting that took place over the past three years, the port had been badly damaged, according to its manager, Mustafa Elabbar. But he said that it could be quickly brought back into operation.

Doing so, he said, would also send a strong message to the world that Benghazi was ready and open for business.
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Released:  20/07/20172017-07-20
Word count:  347

Libya has been called on by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to share production plans at a summit next week, an oil company director said.

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UPI
Libya and fellow OPEC member-state Nigeria are exempt from the multilateral agreement to stem production in an effort to offset some of the supply-side strains that last year pushed oil prices below $30 per barrel. Both countries have seen dramatic gains in production since the deal was implemented in January, dampening the impact.

Parties to a committee monitoring the agreement meet next week in St. Petersburg, Russia, to review the impact. Mustafa Sanalla, the head of Libya's National Oil Corp. said OPEC Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo wants to see production plans from Libya at the meeting.

"We will take this opportunity to share with the committee the factors enabling and constraining Libya's production recovery," he said in a statement. "I will consult with significant Libyan decision-makers before I leave and hope to present a unified Libyan position in St. Petersburg that will show we can act together in the national interest."

OPEC economists in their monthly market report for July said that, combined, Nigeria and Libya were adding about a quarter million barrels of oil per day to the market, while other member states scaled back. Recent data shows Libya is on pace to pass 1 million barrels per day, in line with Sanalla's goal for the month and close to pre-crisis levels.

This week, members of Libya's national oil company met with officials from Norwegian energy company Statoil to review developments in the North African country. The NOC said officials from Statoil were briefed on the "improvement of security situation in the production areas and NOC plans to return production to its normal levels."

Libya and Nigeria are exempt from the OPEC-led agreement so they can steer oil revenue toward national security efforts. On Tuesday, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights said it was concerned about the treatment of prisoners by members of the Libyan National Army, which controls eastern Libya.

"We have documented unlawful killings by armed groups on all sides of the conflict in Libya, and despite ample information regarding such crimes, widespread impunity continues," UNHCR spokesperson Liz Throssell said in an emailed statement.
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Released:  19/07/20172017-07-19
Word count:  349

Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a rise in U.S. crude inventories and ongoing high output from OPEC producers revived concerns of a fuel supply overhang.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $48.81 per barrel at 0259 GMT (3.59 a.m. ET), down 3 cents from their last close.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $46.33 per barrel, down 7 cents.

U.S. crude stocks rose last week, adding 1.6 million barrels in the week to July 14 to 497.2 million barrels, industry group the American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.

Outside the United States, supplies from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) remained high, largely because of rising output from member-states Nigeria and Libya, despite the club's pledge to cut production.

"Nigeria and Libya have made significant progress in reinstating their oil supply. Production in Libya is currently reported at or above 1 million barrels per day while August loading schedules for Nigeria have risen to just over 2 million barrels per day," French bank BNP Paribas said.

"The increment of crude oil supply from Nigeria and Libya in June vs. October 2016 reference production levels comes to 450,000 barrels per day on average. This is almost 40 percent of the 1.25 million barrels per day cut by the OPEC 10 members engaged in supply restraint," the bank said.

Nigeria and Libya are exempt from the deal between OPEC and other producers, including Russia, to cut production by around 1.8 million barrels per day between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.

"Talk of capping Nigerian and Libyan output has been growing fast (within OPEC). But it is very unlikely that both countries will acquiesce to a cap so soon after restoring production," BNP said.

On the demand side, BMI Research warned that China's near record refinery use of crude oil in June would likely fall in the second half of the year.

"The pace of refining throughput growth in China is set to ease in H2, as the Chinese economy loses steam amid intensifying efforts to curb financial risks, and utilisation rates at the independent private refineries soften amid lower quotas and a tighter regulatory environment," BMI said.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin and Tom Hogue
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Tripoli, 18 July 2017(Lana) An agreement designed to assist the youth and the employees of the General Tourism Board has been signed by the board and the National League for Support of the Youth.

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LANA - Libya news agency
The agreement calls for allowing the youth to have a chance to invest in the tourism sector and to have access to grants to pursue higher education.

By virtue of the agreement there will be a joint annual award 'annual tourism award' for those youth interested in antiquities and tourism.

=Lana=
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Released:  18/07/20172017-07-18
Word count:  210

It might need up to LD 10 billion to rebuild Benghazi, which would mean major help from central government since the sum was way beyond local fund-raising, says a leading academic.

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Libya herald
Benghazi university economics don Attiyah Fitouri, writing in Al-Wasat, said he believed that the minimum cost of rebuilding the ravaged areas of the city would be LD 5 billion.

Libya could afford the LD 10 billion he said, because of its foreign currency reserves. He also said that the reopening of Benina airport would assist with the movement of the foreign companies and technicians that are needed in the reconstruction.

But for some the return to full operations cannot wait. Brega Marketing has begun extensive work on its Ras-Elmungar gas distribution terminal to the east of the city. It was not damaged in the recent fighting but has long been in need of an upgrade and expansion.

The job includes new gas tanks and a bottling plant. In January 2016 Brega opened a tender for two new tanks and a fire suppression system. It is not clear who won the contracts.

This June the new board of the wholly-owned National Oil Corporation subsidiary announced ambitious new expansion plans though it has yet to announce how they will be financed.

Meanwhile Benghazi Port Authority is completing a survey of what needs to be done to bring the port back into full operation after fighting raged around it for the best part of three years.  
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22 hours ago

Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  18/07/20172017-07-18
Word count:  245

Oil prices were stable on Tuesday, supported by strong consumption but weighed by ongoing high supplies from producer club OPEC and also the United States.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $48.55 per barrel at 0130 GMT, up 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.12 per barrel, up 10 cents, or 0.2 percent.

In a sign of strong demand, data on Monday showed refineries in China increased crude throughput in June to the second highest on record.

Despite this, oil markets have struggled with oversupply since 2014, resulting in a more than 50 percent fall in prices since then.

A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other non-OPEC producers to cut supplies by around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) between January this year and March 2018 has so far not led to the tighter market and higher prices that producers have hoped for.

That's because supplies from within OPEC remain high largely due to rising output from Nigeria and Libya, two OPEC states exempt from the pact, and increasing U.S. production.

Ecuador, a small producer within OPEC, also said on Tuesday that it is not complying with its production cut of 26,000 bpd due to the country's fiscal deficit which is expected to hit 7.5 percent of GDP this year.

Oil Minister Carlos Perez said that Ecuador was only cutting some 60 percent of that figure, putting current output at 545,000 bpd.

"We are not meeting the quota imposed on us because of the obvious needs the country has," Perez said.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Sam Holmes
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Released:  17/07/20172017-07-17
Word count:  384

Oil prices rose on Monday, supported by a slowdown in the growth of rigs looking for crude in the United States and because of strong refinery demand from China.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures were at $49.10 per barrel at 0454 GMT, up 18 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $46.70 per barrel, up 16 cents, or 0.3 percent. Both benchmarks extended gains from strong performances last week.

Analysts said the rising prices were a result of strong demand as well as signs that a relentless climb in U.S. oil production was slowing.

"The slowing pace of increases combined with massive drawdowns last week on both official crude inventory numbers from the U.S. probably explains the positive sentiment in general at the moment," said Jeffrey Halley of futures brokerage OANDA in Singapore.

U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to July 14, bringing the total to 765, Baker Hughes said on Friday.

While that is the highest level since April 2015, the rate of additions has slowed. New rigs over the past four weeks averaged five, the lowest since November 2016.

"Given the usual time lag between price signal and drilling decision, the coming month, which also features the E&P (exploration and production) earning season, will be key," said U.S. bank Goldman Sachs.

In Asia, China's refinery activity indicates strong fuel demand.

Chinese refineries increased crude throughput in June to the second highest on record, with some independent plants raising output even as state oil majors prepare to take drastic steps to cut production during the peak summer season.

Throughput last month hit 46.08 million tonnes, or 11.21 million barrels per day (bpd), a 2.3-percent rise from a year ago and up from May's 10.98 million bpd, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Monday.

The number was just short of December's record high of 11.26 million bpd.

Some analysts cautioned against too much optimism. "These factors (China data and slowing U.S. drilling) would act more to put a bottom in place for oil prices rather than spurring growth to new highs," said Sukrit Vijayakar, director of energy consultancy Trifecta.

Brent is at similar levels as its average price since 2015, Thomson Reuters Eikon data shows. Most price changes since 2015 have occurred in the first half, or towards the end, of a year. Overall, the second halves of every year since 2015 have seen relatively little price movement.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford and Tom Hogue  
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Released:  17/07/20172017-07-17
Word count:  263

A Libyan Airways (LA) flight from the Jordanian capital Amman touched down in the small hours of this morning to become the first commercial airliner in over three years to make a scheduled landing at Benghazi’s Benina airport. Shortly afterwards another LA flight from Mitiga also touched down.

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Libya herald
Later this morning, there was a small hiccup when the return LA flight from Benina to Amman was delayed for an hour because the Egyptian authorities said they had not been told of the flight plan, which took the aircraft over their territory.

The LA Amman flight was not actually the very first to arrive. This May, another LA flight, from Alexandria, was diverted from Labraq to Benina because Labraq was closed in by a dust storm. Benina has also been handling chartered pilgrimage flights to Saudi Arabia.

In the past few days there has been a series of social media posts with the tag “Bye Bye Labraq”. It seems it will not be missed by regular travellers, not least because of the bossiness of terminal staff trying to cope with a flow of passengers for which the small regional airport was never designed. In January 2015 the airport even closed for two days because it was overwhelmed by the number of travellers. There has also been a series of strikes, most recently this May, by baggage handlers protesting at unpaid salaries.

Most of Labraq’s customers were coming from or heading too Benghazi. The 200 km journey from downtown Benghazi added to the rigours using this small airport.

But now Labraq can sink back to its quiet ways serving Beida and Marj. Benina has returned as the east Libyan hub. Though its passenger handling systems are reportedly working well, it has yet however to duplicate Tripoli’s Mitiga airport informative online arrivals and departures pages. In fact it has no such pages at all.
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Released:  14/07/20172017-07-14
Word count:  224

Economic collaboration between Italy and Libya was reaffirmed today in the Sicilian town of Agrigento with a joint statement to that effect signed by Presidency Council deputy Ahmed Maetig and Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano.

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Libya herald
It came during of the first Italo-Libyan Economic Forum, which was held in the town.

The statement envisages that Italian companies will be involved in Libyan infrastructural reconstruction, including rebuilding airports. They will also resume suspended joint projects including the construction of the coast road originally agreed by Qaddafi and former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.

The forum drew more than 100 Italian businesses, institutions and investors keen to assess the opportunities in Libya once security is re-established.

Organised by the Italian foreign ministry, it focussed on four prime areas of potential partnership: energy, infrastructure, communications networks and financial institutions. Communications was of particular importance. The forum was held in Sicily because the Italians hope to develop the island as a Mediterranean hub for the internet, with new cables being laid to Libya and elsewhere.

“Historically Libya has always been an important partner for Italy, from the economic point of view as well as from the political and security standpoint,” said Alfano. Once Libya was stabilised, the Italian government wanted to focus on economic, infrastructure and energy cooperation,” he added.

Among those present on the Libya side was Wisam Al-Masri, chairman of Libya Wings, one of whose planes flew Maetig and the Libyan delegation from Tripoli to Catania. Libyan Wings has been pushing to be able to fly direct from Tripoli to Rome and Milan.  
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  14/07/20172017-07-14
Word count:  249

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Oil markets dipped on Friday, pulled down by high fuel inventories and improving industry efficiency, but were still on track for a solid weekly gain.

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Reuters
Brent crude futures LCOc1, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $48.34 per barrel at 0151 GMT, but up 3.5 percent for the week.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $45.98 per barrel, down 10 cents, or 0.2 percent, but up around 4 percent for the week.

Crude prices are around levels in late November last year, when a group of oil producers including Russia and Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pledged to withhold around 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) of production between January this year and March 2018 in order to tighten the market.

Oil analysts at research and brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein said that global oil stocks remain high. "For the first half of 2017, OECD inventories are likely to finish higher, rather than lower... The most plausible explanation is that OPEC compliance has been not as high as has been suggested," Bernstein said.

"OPEC will have to cut deeper and for longer if it wants to eliminate the inventory overhang and prices to rise," Bernstein said. It added that the upside for oil prices looked limited even if OPEC took more action due to high U.S. shale production.

Goldman Sachs said that the crude oil price outlook remained weak, largely due to rising cost efficiency from U.S. shale drillers.

"We see potential for shale to breakeven at $45... (and) we see $45-$55 per barrel annual WTI range," the U.S. investment bank said.

Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Richard Pullin  
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Oil & Gas News

Oil & Gas News
Released:  13/07/20172017-07-13
Word count:  634

OPEC wants an “orderly recovery” in oil production from Libya, Nigeria and Iran and has a flexible output target under its cuts agreement to accommodate more crude from the three member nations, the group’s Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo said.

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Bloomberg
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was anticipating a revival in production from the three when it set a targeted output range from 32.5 million to 33 million barrels a day under its November agreement, Barkindo told Bloomberg Television on Wednesday at a conference in Istanbul. Nigeria will support a cap on its production, the country’s oil minister Emmanuel Kachikwu told reporters Wednesday in Abuja.

“What we would like to see is an orderly recovery that would not disrupt significantly the rebalancing of the market, which is a very delicate process which has taken longer than expected because of the change in fundamentals,” Barkindo said. By setting a range for the production ceiling, OPEC was “making provisions for the expected recovery of production” from Libya, Nigeria and Iran, he said.

OPEC decided in November to reduce its output by 1.2 million barrels a day to 32.5 million starting Jan. 1 to clear a global glut. Other producers including Russia joined the deal, which was extended through March 2018.

Libya and Nigeria were both exempted from the cuts due to their internal strife, while Iran was allowed to raise production by 90,000 barrels a day as it was recovering from sanctions. Crude slid into a bear market last month amid concerns that cutbacks by OPEC and allied producers are being partially offset by a rebound in supply from Libya and Nigeria and by U.S. shale output. Brent crude, an international benchmark, has dropped 16 percent this year and rose 22 cents to $47.74 a barrel Wednesday.

June Production

OPEC pumped 32.6 million barrels a day in June, and its output exceeded demand in the first half of this year, according to a report the group issued Wednesday.

Libya and Nigeria may be asked to cap their output soon in an effort to help rebalance the market, Kuwaiti Oil Minister Issam Almarzooq said Monday at the Istanbul event. Both African nations are expected to send representatives to the next meeting of the OPEC and non-OPEC Joint Technical Committee on July 22 in Russia, Barkindo said.

OPEC recognizes that Libya, Nigeria, and Iran have faced “severe challenges,” and it welcomes their increased production, he said. “We are glad these countries are recovering fast.”

Nigeria’s output limit would come into play when the nation can stably pump 1.8 million barrels a day, about 100,000 more than its currently producing, Kachikwu said. “We still are below the 1.8 million barrel a day benchmark set for us by OPEC. I think that over the next one or two months, hopefully, we can get to that point where we can say the recovery has been tested, it is systemic and predictable."

Nigeria will miss the meeting in Russia later this month, but Kachikwu plans to meet with Saudi Arabia and Russia after that.

Libya Output

Libya’s output has risen to 1.05 million barrels a day, or 45,000 barrels a day more than the country was pumping at the beginning of July, according to person with direct knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified for lack of authorization to speak to the media. The nation’s output is at the highest level since June 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The global cuts accord between OPEC and non-OPEC producers faced “headwinds” in the first quarter this year and didn’t cause crude stockpiles to decline fast enough, Barkindo said. The current market downturn is lasting longer than previous slumps, due largely to 700,000 to 800,000 barrels a day of additional supply from the U.S., he said.

Supply and demand now “show us we are on the right course” to achieving OPEC’s goal of reducing stockpiles to their five-year average, he said. Shale producers “need to join us so that together we can restore stability and maintain it,” Barkindo said. “The global economy itself benefits from stable oil markets.”  
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