Oil prices slip as Libyan production bounces
Singapore: Oil prices slipped in Asian trade on Tuesday as a rebound in Libyan oil production eased concerns about global supply, analysts said.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September, was down 30 cents to USD 106.26 a barrel in morning trade, and Brent North Sea crude for September shed 16 cents to USD 108.54.
"Crude retreats as the Libyan exports are expected to resume next month," Kelly Teoh, market strategist at IG Markets in Singapore, said in a note.
Libyan petroleum minister Abdelbari al-Aroussi yesterday said production in the country's western oilfields had resumed after making progress in ending protests at its main shipping terminals.
Libyan oil exports had plunged by more than 70 per cent after protesters, including policemen and border guards, forced the terminals to shut over back pay demands.
Others insisted the chief of security for the terminals withdraw his resignation.
Aroussi yesterday said output was now running at 700,000 barrels per day, up from the low of 330,000 bpd recorded at the height of the protests last week but still far short of the pre-protest average of 1.42 million bpd.
The Libyan protests had exacerbated investors' concerns about a disruption in global supply, amid fears that Egypt's ongoing political crisis could force a closure of the Suez Canal and Sumed Pipeline.