Crude Oil Prices Settle Lower Ahead of Inventory Data
Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled lower after traders appeared to take profit on Tuesday’s rally as the prospect of prolonged supply disruptions in Libya eased following an update from Libyan state oil firm NOC.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange for January delivery fell 33 cents to settle at $59.64 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, lost 54 cents to trade at $65.90 a barrel.
Reports reported Wednesday, citing comments from the head of Libyan state oil firm NOC, that repair of the Libyan pipeline that feeds the Es Sider sea terminal could take about one week but will not have a major impact on exports.
That dampened expectations for a prolonged outage in Libya, where a pipeline bombing took an estimated 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) off-line.
The Mediterranean port of Es Sider is the largest oil depot in Libya with a capacity of more than 400,000 bpd.
Crude oil prices topped at $60.01 on Tuesday, levels last seen in June of 2015, as the Libyan outage added to recent supply disruptions which include the ongoing Forties North Sea pipeline shutdown.
The Forties pipeline, which carries 40% of North Sea oil and gas, has been on an outage since Dec. 11.
In the U.S. meanwhile, traders turned attention to the American Petroleum Institute weekly inventory report expected Wednesday after US markets close, while the US Energy Information Administration issues its supply totals Thursday at 10:30 a.m. ET.
US oil production and exports are expected to be closely monitored after rising close to record highs last week at 9.79 million bpd, and 1.86 million bpd, respectively.
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