Brent Above $112 On African Violence
Brent crude oil pushed above $112 to begin the week as the conflict in South Sudan escalated and began to affect oil exports. The commodity traded at $112.48 at 5:40 GMT on Monday morning as investors kept an eye on new developments in Africa.
Violence in South Sudan over the past two weeks has kept Brent prices supported as the fighting has cut down on the nation's oil exports. Last week, resolution looked possible as a truce to end the fighting and resolve the conflict non-violently was offered. However, CNBC reported that the nation's army clashed with ethnic militias over the weekend. The battle divided the country and ended with at least 1,000 dead.
The South Sudanese Unity state oilfields have been affected by the conflict, and oil output from the North African nation has fallen by 200,000 barrels per day, nearly a fifth of its normal output
Protests in Libya escalated over the weekend as well after protesters threatened to cut off a vital gas pipeline to the nation's capital. Libyan oilfields have been shut down for months as protesters demand more political rights as well as their share of the nation's oil revenue.
Brent also found support from news that France's Total Gonfreville refinery was no longer shut down due to strikes. The refinery was the last to reopen after five of the nation's refineries closed following a mass walk out that began two weeks ago.
Moving forward, investors will be watching talks between Iran and six world powers, set to resume on Monday. The world leaders will discuss how to implement last month's break through agreement on Iran's nuclear deal as it will likely be impeded by several technical issues before being rolled out.
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