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Brent holds above $109 on low Libyan exports

29 October 2013, 14:35

Tokyo - Brent crude edged lower toward 109 dollars a barrel on Tuesday ahead of a Federal Reserve policy meeting.

It, however, kept most of the previous day's gains after reports of a sharp drop in Libyan oil exports, which rekindled worries over supply.

Libya's crude oil exports have dropped to less than 10 per cent of capacity or 90,000 barrels per day, due to the worst disruption in its oil industry since a 2011 civil war.

London Brent crude futures for December delivery were trading 54 cents lower at 109.07 dollars a barrel at 0746 GMT after settling up 2.68 dollars on Monday.

U.S. crude for December delivery was down 41 cents at 98.27 dollars a barrel.

Libya's prime minister said exports from the eastern port of Hariga with a capacity of 110 000 bpd would resume after one week following a two-month blockade due to strikes and protests.

But there were few projections for further restarts.

The Libyan news, combined with talk of unstable production in Iraq last week, helped push up oil prices on Monday, said Osamu Fujisawa, a Japanese-based independent oil economist.

“Despite the gains, oil prices are expected to meet with continued upside resistance because demand is not growing as fast as supplies through next year as IEA projections show,” he said.

Oil prices could fall in spite of winter demand in the northern hemisphere, with Brent set to drop towards 103 dollars a barrel, he added.

Masaki Suematsu, energy team sales manager at Newedge Japan, said: “Basically, I am not that bullish. I think 105 dollars is the level we could see on the downside.”

A bomb explosion over the weekend close to pipeline carrying crude from a major oilfield in Iraq provided support to the market, although oil exports were not affected.

-    Reuters/NAN


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