Brent Rises On Growing African Tension
Brent crude oil settled at $111.92 at 6:40 GMT on Thursday morning after briefly pushing above $112 as conflict in Africa cut down on supply. Both Libya and South Sudan are facing civil unrest which has blocked their crude exports and tightened global supply.
Libyan output has fallen to just 110,000 barrels per day from more than one million barrels per day in July. The North African nation has been dealing with strikes and protests at most of its largest oilfields as tribesmen demand more political rights as well as a cut of the nation's oil revenue.
CNBC reported that Libyan tribal leaders have agreed to negotiate the reopening of several eastern oil export terminals, but the government has said it is unwilling to negotiate with the protesters.
Fighting in South Sudan spread further north and cut the nation's crude exports by 45,000 barrels per day. Oil workers were evacuated earlier in the week, but the nation's Petroleum Minister reassured investors that production in the Upper Nile state was out of reach of rebel forces.
Moving forward investors will be watching for data from the US Energy Information Administration, due out at 11:00 EST. The data, delayed for the Christmas holiday, will give investors a more clear picture of the number one oil consuming nation's oil appetite.
The American Petroleum Institute released a report on Tuesday which showed a 716,000 barrel increase in US crude stocks. The figure surprised analysts who were expecting crude stocks to decline for the fourth consecutive week.
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