Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Oil Prices Drop from Nine-Week Highs | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55380616

A pump jack is seen during sunset at Lagunillas field in the eastern coast of Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela. Reuters

Cairo- While an OPEC and non-OPEC Technical Committee is meeting in Abu Dhabi Monday and Tuesday to discuss means of strengthening compliance with the agreement to reduce production, oil prices edged lower on Monday, sliding away from nine-week highs, as worries lingered over high production from OPEC and the United States.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 65 cents, or 1.24 percent, at $51.77 a barrel at 0926 GMT.

US crude futures were down 59 cents, or 1.19 percent, at $48.99 per barrel.

Both contracts stood more than one dollar below the levels hit last week, which marked their highest since late May when oil producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended a deal to reduce output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next March.

Doubts have since swirled around the effectiveness of the cuts, as OPEC output hit a 2017 high in July and its exports hit a record.

The OPEC concerns were enough to outweigh news on Monday that Libya’s Sharara oilfield, which has been producing 270,000 bpd, is gradually shutting down.

Increased output from Libya, which along with Nigeria was exempt from the initial cuts, has been a key driver in OPEC’s production increases.

Output at Libya’s Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption by armed protesters in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said.

A pipeline supplying jet fuel and gasoline from Zawiya to Tripoli which the protesters had also closed has reopened, the NOC added.

The field has boosted Libya’s oil production, which climbed to more than 1 million bpd in late June.

The NOC gave no reason for the protest in Zawiya, which began on Sunday, forcing oil workers to gradually reduce production from Sharara which is located in Libya’s south west.

A local shipping source said loading operations in Zawiya had also been affected. The tanker Dubai Beauty was due to load 750,000 barrels at Zawiya on Tuesday, the source said, according to Reuters.

The NOC operates Sharara in a partnership with Repsol, Total, OMV and Statoil.