Oil Prices Rise on Libya Supply Issues

03/05/18 06:10 AM EST
By Sarah McFarlane 

Oil prices rose Monday, supported by reports of supply disruptions in Libya over the weekend.

Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, was up 0.6% to $64.78 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading up 0.8% at $61.72 a barrel.

Reports over the weekend that Libyan production fell by around 380,000 barrels a day helped the markets recover some of last week's losses.

"This production is very wobbly," said Giovanni Staunovo, commodities analyst at UBS Wealth Management, referring to repeated disruptions, adding that the political situation in Libya remained unstable.

The outages compounded supply issues already seen from major producer Venezuela as the country struggles with an economic crisis. On Thursday, Venezuela's election agency said a presidential vote planned for April 22 had been delayed by a month, adding to political and economic uncertainty.

Brent oil prices have fallen around 9% since hitting a 3-year peak of over $70 a barrel in January, under pressure from rising U.S. output.

"The current production outages merely hide the fact that the oil market is amply supplied thanks to the sharply rising U.S. oil production," Commerzbank said in a daily note.

The International Energy Agency on Monday forecast the U.S. would become the world's top crude producer by 2023 with production hitting a record of 12.1 million barrels a day. This is around 2 million barrels a day higher than 2018 production.

U.S. oil production has been soaring on the back of the shale boom, helped by technological advances and improved efficiency.

Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock -- the benchmark gasoline contract -- rose 0.03% to $1.90 a gallon. ICE gas oil changed hands at $569.75 a metric ton, up $6.50 from the previous settlement.

Write to Sarah McFarlane at sarah.mcfarlane@wsj.com


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

March 05, 2018 06:10 ET (11:10 GMT)

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