Corrected: Crude trades at new highs on political turmoil in Mid East

22 February 2011 08:13  [Source: ICIS news]

Correction: In the ICIS story headlined “Crude trades at new highs on political turmoil in Mid East” dated 22 February 2011, please read in the third paragraph: At 08:03 hours GMT, April Brent on London’s ICE futures… instead of At 08:03 hours GMT, March Brent on London’s ICE futures…. A corrected story follows.

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Global crude prices have surged on Tuesday amid the ongoing unrest in Libya and concerns over supply disruptions following news of output cuts.

Brent crude futures rose by more than $2/bbl on the previous close to levels last seen in early September 2008, while NYMEX light sweet crude futures climbed to a price range not seen since October 2008.

At 08:03 hours GMT, April Brent on London’s ICE futures was trading at $107.80/bbl, up by $2.06/bbl from the previous day’s close, after earlier hitting a session high at $108.57/bbl.

March NYMEX light-sweet crude futures were trading at $93.53/bbl, up by $7.33/bbl from the previous close. Earlier, the US crude benchmark hit an intra-day high at $94.49/bbl.

The price change for March WTI is against last Friday’s settlement, as the US market was closed on Monday because of a public holiday.

The gains in WTI were augmented by short-covering gains ahead of the March contract’s expiry at the close of business on 22 February.

BASF’s oil and gas exploration subsidiary Wintershall said on Tuesday it would halt oil production at its eight onshore oil fields some 1,000km (621 miles) southeast of Tripoli in Libya.

The shutdown would affect around 100,000 bbl/day of oil production, according to a statement on Wintershall’s website.

The company’s production comprises around 6% of Libya’s daily 1.58m bbl/day output, according to data from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

Media reports said a strike had halted output from Libya’s approximately 100,000 bbl/day Nafoora oilfield, which is operated by state-owned National Oil Corp (NOC) subsidiary Arabian Gulf Oil Co (AGOCO).

However, Italy’s Eni – the largest foreign oil producer in Libya – said in a statement its facilities were still in operation but it was evacuating its non-essential staff.

The producer has an output of around 244,000 bbl/day of oil equivalents, according to the statement.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: James Dennis
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