Oil Steadies as Libya Restarts Biggest Oil Field After Stoppage

Futures in New York rose 0.2 percent after a 3.6 percent decline last week. The Sharara field, Libya’s biggest, has started producing again after stopping on Sunday following a closure of the pipeline carrying oil to the Zawiya refinery, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The halt came shortly after protests disrupted output at another Libyan deposit in February.

Libyan production had been surging in recent months, becoming a thorn for the market on concern that further growth could test the country’s pledge to curb production as part of OPEC’s plan to limit a global oversupply. The increase, together with warnings of rising U.S. output from organizations including the the International Energy Agency, has prevented prices from regaining the highs of January even as most OPEC members continue to cut supply.

Oil shipments from Libya jumped to 1.19 million barrels a day last month, the highest since Bloomberg began tracking tankers from the country in July 2014. Still, production remains threatened by the lingering effects of civil strife that erupted earlier in the decade, and is well below the 1.6 million barrels a day pumped before the ouster of former leader Muammar Qaddafi.

At the same time, investors are also focusing on the U.S., where explorers have boosted the number of rigs drilling for crude to 800 for the first time in almost three years, according to Baker Hughes data released Friday. American crude output has increased to a record of more than 10 million barrels a day.
more at:  https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-05/oil-gains-as-output-from-libya-s-biggest-field-is-said-to-stop

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