U.S. Crude Jumps $1 on Jobs Data, Libya Doubt

Posted by Eric Haun
Friday, April 04, 2014

Crude oil prices on both sides of the Atlantic rose on Friday as data showed strong jobs growth in the United States and investors cast doubt on reports Libya's oil ports were about to reopen.

The March U.S. non-farm payrolls report showed 192,000 jobs were added in March in major test of the argument that the economic weakness of January and February was due to bad weather.

Expectations had been building that an eight-month blockage of Libya's oil export ports would end after rebels and the government said they were close to an agreement.

The Libyan government said it had seen evidence of "good intentions" at indirect talks with eastern rebels that could lead to renewed exports.

But previous reports of the reopening of ports have proven false and investors suspect there will again be no breakthrough.

"In the oil market it is Libya that is pulling the strings," said David Hufton, managing director of London brokerage PVM Oil Associates. "High hopes of an imminent settlement with rebels in the east of the country have been punctured."

May Brent crude was up 65 cents at $106.80 a barrel by 11:09 EDT (1509 GMT). U.S. crude for May gained $1.02 to $101.31 a barrel, after earlier rising as high as $101.63. Front-month U.S. crude was set to post its first weekly loss in three weeks.

The spread between Brent and U.S. crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, had narrowed to as low as $4.81 by mid-week as Brent lost more than $3 on hopes that Libyan oil would soon be back online. It widened to nearly $6 on Thursday before narrowing again on Friday to $5.49.

"The spread's in today by about 50 cents, which suggests that concerns about Libyan oil making its way back onto the world market place has kind of run its course, and the focus is back on Cushing oil flowing down to the Gulf Coast," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

The restart of Libya's eastern oil ports could release about 600,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude, bumping up the OPEC producer's output from around 150,000 bpd but still far from the 1.4 million bpd it produced last July.

Investors remained cautious after a breakdown in agreements between the Libyan government and rebels earlier this year.

"It first remains to be seen whether the oil terminals in the east of Libya do in fact open in the next few days." said Carsten Fritsch, senior oil analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

"Even if this does happen, however, it is by no means clear whether the previous export volume of 600,000 bpd can be quickly regained," he added. "It takes time for production to be ramped up and for pipelines to be filled."

(By Anna Louie Sussman; Additional reporting by Christopher Johnson in London, Florence Tan and Manolo Serapio Jr in Singapore; Editing by William Hardy, David Evans ansd Steve Orlofsky)

Maritime Reporter June 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Container Equipment Costs at Record Low

Low material costs and stable demand has driven the price of new container equipment down to record lows where it is forecast to stay, according to the latest edition

KPA: Striking Mombasa Port Workers Must Return by Friday

The Kenya Ports Authority said on Thursday striking workers at the Mombasa port should resume work by Friday morning or lose their jobs, and that normal activities

Qatar Navigation Absorbs Balance of SocGen Gasships

Qatar Navigation (Milaha) said on Thursday its unit Qatar Shipping Company had acquired the remaining 60 percent interest in two firms which own Liquefied Natural

News

Austal Delivers 7th Cape Class Patrol Boat

Shipbuilder Austal Limited announced it has delivered Cape Wessel, the seventh of eight Cape Class patrol boats being supplied to Australian Border Force under a $330 million design,

Silversea Cruises Orders Luxury Ship from Fincantieri

Shipbuilder Fincantieri has received an order to build a new luxury cruise ship for client Silversea Cruises due for delivery in April 2017.    At 40,700 grt and accommodating 596 guests,

Latest LCS Completes US Navy Trials

Littoral Combat Ship 6 (LCS 6), the future USS Jackson, has completed U.S. Navy acceptance trials, shipbuilder Austal Limited announced.   The trials, the final milestone before delivery,

Government Update

Terrorists Will Exploit EU Migrant Crisis, ESC Warns

ESC Global Security has called for the Mediterranean to be classed a maritime High Risk Area in the wake of the terrorist atrocities in Tunisia and Europe’s escalating migration crisis.

KPA: Striking Mombasa Port Workers Must Return by Friday

The Kenya Ports Authority said on Thursday striking workers at the Mombasa port should resume work by Friday morning or lose their jobs, and that normal activities

Philippine Ferry Sinks, 36 Dead

A ferry carrying 189 passengers and crew capsized off the central Philippines in heavy waves on Thursday, killing at least 36 people but the majority of those on board were rescued,

Logistics

Maersk Returns to the Port of Baltimore

Maryland Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, along with congressional, state and local officials, officially welcomed Denmark-based Maersk Line, part of the Maersk Group

Container Equipment Costs at Record Low

Low material costs and stable demand has driven the price of new container equipment down to record lows where it is forecast to stay, according to the latest edition

KPA: Striking Mombasa Port Workers Must Return by Friday

The Kenya Ports Authority said on Thursday striking workers at the Mombasa port should resume work by Friday morning or lose their jobs, and that normal activities

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Maritime Standards Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1923 sec (5 req/sec)