Oil Holds Near 1-Week High as Biggest Libyan Oilfield Disrupted

Futures were little changed in New York after rising 3.7 percent the previous two sessions. Libya declared force majeure, a legal clause that allows the suspension of deliveries, on supplies from the Sharara field after it was blocked on Sunday, National Oil Corp. Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said. Drillers targeting crude trimmed the rig count by five to 763, the second decline this month, according to data Friday from Baker Hughes Inc.

“The fragility of Libya’s production increase” was highlighted by the problem at Sharara, said Giovanni Staunovo, an analyst at UBS Group AG in Zurich. “Considering that the political situation and security issues remain unresolved, production gains can be quickly reversed.”

West Texas Intermediate for September delivery, which expires Tuesday, was 2 cents higher at $48.53 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 10:25 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 13 percent above the 100-day average. Prices advanced $1.42, or 3 percent, to $48.51 on Friday, trimming the weekly loss to 0.6 percent.

Brent for October settlement lost 10 cents to $52.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices rose 1.2 percent last week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $3.92 to October WTI. It reached $4.06 on Friday, the widest since 2015.
more at:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-20/oil-holds-gains-near-1-week-high-as-u-s-drilling-slows-further

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