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Brent rises over $110 on Libya violence, fall in output - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Smoke rises over the parliament area after troops of Gen. Khalifa Hifter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Libyan National Army)

Smoke rises over the parliament area after troops of Gen. Khalifa Hafter targeted Islamist lawmakers and officials at the parliament in Tripoli, Libya, Sunday, May 18, 2014. (AP Photo/Libyan National Army)

London, Reuters—Brent crude rose above 110 US dollars a barrel on Monday on renewed concerns over Libya’s oil output following some of the worst violence in Tripoli since the 2011 war against Muammar Gaddafi.

Heavily armed men stormed Libya’s parliament on Sunday and demanded its suspension, claiming loyalty to a renegade army general and deepening the chaos in the OPEC oil producer.

Brent crude gained 38 cents to 110.13 dollars a barrel by 1110 GMT. US crude rose 70 cents to 102.72 dollars.

An end to a month-long blockade of major oil ports in eastern Libya last month raised the prospect of higher crude exports and weighed on oil prices.

But just-opened oil fields were closed again, and clashes erupted in the east, with 43 people killed and more than 100 wounded in Benghazi.

Libya’s output has fallen to about 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 300,000 bpd earlier last week, far below the 1.4 million bpd produced last year.

“This also lends greater weight to the warning issued by the International Energy Agency (IEA) at the end of last week: it envisages a tightening of the oil market in the second half of the year unless OPEC considerably steps up its supply,” a Commerzbank research note said.

The conflict in Ukraine added momentum to the price rise as US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande agreed Russia faces significant further costs if it continues “provocative and destabilizing behavior”.

“Finding additional support from the Ukraine conflict, the Brent price is likely to remain at its current high level and may even climb further,” Commerzbank said.

Iran and six world powers made little progress last week in talks on ending their dispute over Tehran’s nuclear program, US and Iranian officials said.

Their comments raised doubts over the prospects for a breakthrough by July 20, which marks the end of a temporary agreement that eases some sanctions against the OPEC oil producer.