Oil prices slip as Libyan production improves


Oil prices have slipped on rising concerns of oversupply as production in Libya increases and US gasoline stocks improve in the peak summer driving season.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 fell by 23 cents to $51.64 per barrel, while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 declined by 24 cents to touch $47.59 a barrel, reported Reuters.

Libya's Sharara oil field has resumed production, however, analysts feel that output may be affected due to instability in the country.

Sharara, which is capable of producing 280,000 barrels per day (bpd), helped to increase the country’s total output to cross one million bpd in June.

"Sharara, which is capable of producing 280,000 barrels per day (bpd), helped to increase the country’s total output to cross one million bpd in June."

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC members have pledged to reduce production by 1.8 million bpd, a deal that started in January this year and is scheduled to continue until March next year.

However, rising production from Libya, an OPEC member exempted from the deal, has undermined the efforts to rebalance the market.

The participating nations in the oil production cut deal will again meet on 22 September to discuss the future course of the agreement.

Industry group the American Petroleum Institute said that crude stocks in the US decreased by 3.6 million barrels in the week ending 18 August to 465.6 million barrels, but gasoline stocks increased by 1.4 million barrels against Reuters’ prediction of a fall of 643,000 barrels.