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Oil Prices Steady as Denmark & Libya Resume Production

October 13, 2020

oil

Oil prices continued to trade steadily on Tuesday, although they were sitting on losses of nearly 3% from the previous session after supplies began to kick back into action in Norway, the Gulf of Mexico, and Libya also resumed production at its largest oilfield.

The return of supply comes as rising Coronavirus cases in the U.S. Midwest and Europe have begun to re-emerge, raising concerns about fuel demand growth, posing a huge challenge for the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, together called OPEC+.

OPEC+ has halted supply to help shore up oil prices owing to the pandemic, with cuts of roughly 7.7 million barrels per day due to hold through until December. The producers’ market monitoring panel is due to meet next Monday.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures inched up 1 cent to $39.44 a barrel at 0117 GMT, while Brent crude futures rose 2 cents to $41.74 a barrel.

With workers now returning to Gulf of Mexico platforms after Hurricane Delta had forced them to close for a week and Norwegian workers beginning to return to rigs after ending a strike, the focus was on Libya, a key member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which on Sunday lifted force majeure at the Sharara oilfield.

Libya’s overall output on Monday was at 355,000 BPD and will double if, and more crucially when, the Sharara field gets back to full production and pumping at the 300,000 BPD it was churning out before the Libyan National Army blockaded energy exports in January.

Stoking worries about fuel demand, fresh lockdowns are currently being imposed in Britain and the Czech Republic to battle rising cases of COVID-19, while French Prime Minister Jean Castex said he could not rule out local lockdowns.