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Oil Near $133 after Nigeria Attack - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Oil was near $133 a barrel on Tuesday, after an attack by rebels on Nigerian oil facilities, plus a weak dollar helped to feed the market’s bullish mood.

U.S. crude was up 97 cents at $133.16 a barrel by 0908 GMT (10:08 a.m. British time). The New York Mercantile Exchange trading floor was closed on Monday for the U.S. Memorial Day holiday.

U.S. crude hit a record high of $135.09 a barrel on May 22.

London Brent crude was up 22 cents at $132.59. It reached a record high of $135.14 a barrel also on May 22.

Prices rose on Monday when Royal Dutch Shell said it was forced to cut production in Nigeria after rebels from the southern Niger Delta blew up an oil pipeline.

About one-fifth of Nigeria’s oil output has been cut since 2006 due to a series of attacks on pipeline and oil infrastructure.

“The market still looks bullish, the dollar is still weakening and under current conditions it is pushing commodities and oil higher,” said Marc Lansonneur, Societe Generale’s head of commodities derivatives in Asia.

Oil prices have risen about 40 percent this year, driven by the extended slide in the U.S. dollar, plus perceptions that global oil output will struggle to keep pace with demand over the next decade due to disappointing non-OPEC output growth.

“The most important fundamental that is driving the market…is that there will be a shortage in the coming years,” Lansonneur said.

Output from Mexico’s Cantarell oil field, for example, fell in April to 1.074 million barrels per day, the field’s lowest production in years.

OPEC, which pumps two in five of every barrels of oil, is not due to meet until September to review its production levels.

OPEC President Chakib Khelil reiterated that the producer group would not meet earlier than its scheduled gathering in September to discuss rising prices, the website of the Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) reported.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has been adamant that the market remains well balanced and there is no need to raise production, blaming the rise in prices on financial speculators or other factors outside its control.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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