Brent value has gone up marginally today after news emerged from South Sudan government that rebels have seized the capital of a key oil-producing region, reviving supply concerns.
According to Reuters, Brent crude increased by one cent to $111.78 a barrel, while US crude dropped by 11 cents at $99.21.
The South Sudan government said on its Twitter account that it was no longer in control of Bentiu, the capital of Unity State.
South Sudan, which gets nearly 99% of its government budget from oil revenues, is believed to be on the verge of an all-out ethnic civil war in the world’s newest country.
China National Petroleum, an oil investor in South Sudan has evacuated oil workers from its oilfields to the capital, Juba.
A government official said the country’s output of 245,000bpd, however, was still flowing normally despite tensions reaching vital oil fields.
The prices got more support as Libyan key oil ports were shut by a group demanding greater autonomy for the country’s eastern part.
Libya’s oil output has dropped to around 250,000 barrels per day (bpd) from 1.4 million five months ago, adding concerns among investors.
Jonathan Barratt, chief executive of Barratt’s Bulletin said: "You’ve lost Libyan supply and you’ll lose Sudanese supply. Although they are not large amounts, they are significant enough to make people nervous."
Saudi Arabia’s oil minister said worries about short supplies have caused the oil market’s pricing dynamics to shift in recent days, and that the kingdom was ready to cut production.
Image: Image: Oil flow continued in South Sudan even amidst growing tensions. Photo: courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net/Michelle Meiklejohn.