Libya’s crude output dropped after clashes forced two of the country’s biggest oil ports to shut down, threatening the OPEC member’s efforts to revive the production of its most important commodity. The North African country’s production fell to 650,000 barrels a day from about 700,000 barrels a few days ago, according to a person with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the person isn’t authorized to speak to media. Crude shipments from Es Sider, the nation’s largest oil port, and Ras Lanuf, its third-biggest, have been suspended until security improves and workers return to the facilities, Jadalla Alaokali, a board member of Libya’s National Oil Corp., said by phone. Production from fields feeding the ports has declined and may be cut further if the two terminals remain shut and the situation doesn’t improve soon, he said. click Read More below for more of the story
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West Texas Intermediate for October delivery lost as much as $1.25 to $45.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $45.18 at 11:04 a.m. in London. The contract added 41 cents to close at $46.29 on Monday. Total volume traded was about 8 percent above the 100-day average. Brent for November settlement lost as much as $1.14, or 2.4 percent, to $47.18 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract rose 31 cents to $48.32 on Monday. The global benchmark crude was at a $1.57 premium to WTI for November. Consumption growth sagged to a two-year low in the third quarter as demand faltered in China and India, while record output from OPEC’s Gulf members is compounding the glut, said the IEA. Just last month, the agency saw the market returning to equilibrium this year.