Libya's largest oil terminal explodes after an unclear blast

Gwen Vasquez
December 28, 2017

Futures fell as much as 1.1 percent in NY amid holiday trading volume about 44 percent below the 100-day average.

On Tuesday, Libya lost around 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil supplies from a blast on a pipeline feeding Es Sider port.

Prices of crude oil, Nigeria's bigger revenue earner, yesterday, hit $65 per barrel, highest point in the last two and half years, before end of transactions at the global market. At the same time, the market is "probably reassured now".

West Texas Intermediate for February delivery traded at $59.55 a barrel at 4:47 p.m. after settling at $59.64 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices hit a session high of 66.83 a barrel.

The worldwide benchmark for oil prices, Brent crude LCOc1, slipped 15 cents and crude CLc1 was down 7 cents at $58.40.

Crude slipped from the highest level in two and a half years amid light trading volume and reports that repairs to a Libyan pipeline should wrap up next week.

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"The confirmation that Forties is coming back is the main development of the long weekend", said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix.

The impending restart of a key North Sea pipeline, Forties, limited the rally.

The API report was also said to find that gasoline inventories rose by 3.13 million barrels last week and supplies at the key Cushing, Oklahoma, pipeline hub declined by 1.27 million barrels, the people said.

US crude inventories probably fell by 3.75 million barrels last week, according the median estimate of analysts in a Bloomberg survey before the release of Energy Information Administration data Thursday.

The Forties and Libyan outages, which together amount to around 500,000 bpd, are relatively small in a global context of both production and demand approaching 100 million bpd.

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