From the Field
Oil prices fall, still up on Libya conflict
LONDON, April 15, 2019 – Oil prices fell on Monday in Asia but still surged by more than 30% year-to-date. The Libya conflict is back under the spotlight today.
US Crude Oil WTI Futures fell 0.4% to $63.62 by 12:10 AM ET (04:10 GMT), while international Brent Oil Futures slipped 0.2% to $71.42.
Year-to-date, US crude is up 41% while the U.K. benchmark shows a 32% rise, supported by production cuts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
OPEC, Russia and other non-member producers have been reducing output by 1.2 million bpd since the beginning of 2019. The producers are due to meet in June to decide whether to extend the pact.
In an earlier report, Reuters cited an OPEC source that said oil producers might decide to end their output cuts during the meeting if he Libya, Venezuelan and Iranian supply crises weren’t resolved by then.
In other news, the US oil rig count, published by industry firm Baker Hughes, rose by two units this week after last week’s 15-rig climb.
Last week, the US Energy Information Administration reported in its weekly supply-demand report that production had reached a new high of 12.2 million barrels per day.
Meanwhile, the Libyan conflict remained in focus as reports on Friday suggested that renegade Libyan general Khalifa Haftar had vowed to wipe out the North African country’s oil production if he gained control of the capital, Tripoli.
The North African country, which produces about 1.1 million barrels per day of oil, has been vulnerable since the 2011 overthrow of Muammar Gadaffi. Haftar’s forces control more than 40% of Libya’s oilfields and the key ports that export its crude.