NEW YORK and LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Crude headed for its longest run of gains this year as Libya’s biggest oil field suffered another outage while Russia signaled it’s weighing an extension of OPEC-led production cuts.
Futures gained for a fifth day in New York, adding to last week’s 3.2% gain following a U.S. military strike on Syria. Libya’s Sharara field halted production just one week after reopening, with the National Oil Corp. declaring force majeure on exports, according to a copy of its decree obtained by Bloomberg. In Russia, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday his ministry had been in talks with oil companies regarding the need to prolong the six-month deal with OPEC.
Support from some members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to extend the curbs has sparked a rally above $50/bbl. The cuts have stabilized the market and Russia will continue to watch inventory levels, but it’s too early to decide whether the pact should be prolonged, Novak said. OPEC nation Libya, which is exempt from the agreement, said Sharara had been pumping 200,000 bopd before the latest disruption, according to the NOC. A week earlier, exports were interrupted by a pipeline halt.
"The Libyans are constantly shutting and reopening their fields because of political and technical issues," Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research in Winchester, Massachusetts said. "The talk of an extension, strength of the U.S. economy and ongoing minor supply problems like Libya are leading people to think the market will probably be getting tighter."
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 16 September 2019 – Brent: US$69/b; WTI: US$63/b
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