London- Royal Dutch Shell has lifted a cargo of 600,000 barrels of crude oil from Libya’s Zueitina port, its first from the war-torn north African country in 5 years, two industry sources told Reuters on Saturday.
“Libya is a significant resource holder and Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Ltd (STASCO) has a history marketing Libyan crudes,” a Shell spokesperson said.
“We welcome new business opportunities with Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC). However, we don’t comment on specific trading deals,” the spokesperson added.
More so, oil prices rose sharply on Friday, as the dollar fell and US drillers cut rigs, feeding a rally that boosted global benchmark Brent crude to a weekly gain while US crude was virtually flat on the week.
US energy firms cut oil rigs for a second week in three, the Baker Hughes energy services firm reported, with drillers cutting spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices.
Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, Baker Hughes said.
Earlier in the week, government data had suggested that crude output in the United States was still rising.
WTI crude CLc1 futures for September delivery rose $1.42 to $48.51 a barrel, a 3 percent gain. Brent crude LCOc1 futures for October delivery rose $1.69 to $52.72 a barrel, a 3.3 percent gain.
Brent and US crude prices had both been headed for weekly declines of more than 2 percent, but Friday’s sharp rally left Brent with a 1.5 percent weekly gain while US crude finished the week virtually flat, down just 0.3 percent.
On that note, Nigeria’s crude oil exports are expected to slip to 1.72 million barrels per day (bpd) in October, loading programs showed on Friday.
Signs of supply tightness have started appearing in the United States, the world’s biggest oil consumer.
Despite a 13 percent jump in production C-OUT-T-EIA since mid-2016 to 9.5 million bpd, the country’s commercial crude inventories C-STK-T-EIA have fallen 13 percent from their March records to below 2016 levels.