Brent Steady Above $111
Brent crude oil slipped but remained above $111 and traded at $111.55 at 6:30 GMT on Friday morning. The commodity has been supported by strikes at refineries in France coupled with ongoing violence in Africa which has created interruptions and tightened global supply.
In Libya, protests have shut down the nation's largest oil fields since the summer. The closures have depressed Libyan oil exports by more than half of its normal capacity. The country's tribesmen are blocking the export terminals and demanding more political rights as well as a cut of the nation's oil income.
Fighting in South Sudan has erupted into an all out civil war and the spread of violence caused many oil companies to evacuate their workers. The BBC reported that more than 1,000 people are believed to have died since the fighting began. In an effort to end the conflict, Africa's leaders are set to meet in Kenya on Friday to discuss how to resolve the country's problems peacefully.
The conflict, which began in Juba, has spread to the north where much of the country's oil production takes place. Some oil wells have already fallen into rebel hands and the country's Petroleum Minister has said he fears that they could get damaged.
Moving forward Brent prices could fall under pressure as investors take profit. Data from the US is also due out later in the day which could impact oil prices. The US Energy Information Administration is expected to release a report later in the day which will give a more clear picture of the US' supply and demand.
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