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

Grimaldi Orders Three PCTCs

After signing an order for the construction of five new ships two weeks ago, the Italian shipowner  Grimaldi Group has signed another contract for the construction

Caltex Replaces Australian Crew

The 36 Australian crew members of an Caltex tanker refusing to set sail after they were told their jobs would be gone after the next run. MR tanker Alexander Spirit (40,

Teekay LNG Partners Declares Distribution

Teekay GP LLC, the general partner of Teekay LNG Partners L.P. has declared a cash distribution of $0.70 per unit for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. The cash distribution is payable on August 14,

News

Aberdeen Pupils Peek into Subsea Oil & Gas Technology

Pupils at an Aberdeen primary school were given a rare insight into the depths of the oil and gas industry’s subsea sector after getting to sit in the driving

AVEVA, DNV GL's Sesam Integration Cuts Cost

Integration of Aveva and DNV GL's Sesam Reduces Costs in Maritime and Offshore Engineering. Engineers designing ship hulls and offshore floaters can now save

FORAN for Pertamina's Future Ships

FORAN has been chosen by state-owned company PERTAMINA to review the design of their future oil product carrier ships, under construction in a shipyard with the FORAN System.

Government Update

Caltex Replaces Australian Crew

The 36 Australian crew members of an Caltex tanker refusing to set sail after they were told their jobs would be gone after the next run. MR tanker Alexander Spirit (40,

Antwerp, Duisburg Ports to Upgrade Rly Link

The Port of Antwerp and duisport are intensifying their cooperation as the Port of Antwerp will participate in the existing rail shuttle service connecting the two ports.

Greek Shipping Mulls Cyprus Move

Greek shipping companies are looking into moving to Cyprus due to the instability and uncertainty in Greece, it emerged, reports Cyprus News Agency.   The director

Logistics

Grimaldi Orders Three PCTCs

After signing an order for the construction of five new ships two weeks ago, the Italian shipowner  Grimaldi Group has signed another contract for the construction

Is It Too Late To Tangle With Spike in Shipping Market

A series of interesting and extreme price spikes is going on in the shipping market today, says Clarksons, provider of global shipping and offshore market intelligence.

NITC Claims World's Largest Supertanker Fleet

According to the head of the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC), Iran has 42 very large crude carriers or VLCCs, each able to carry 2 million barrels of oil, reports Press TV.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
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: 0.2490 sec (4 req/sec)