Oil prices suffer worst monthly decline since March

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Crude futures fell 1.9% in New York on Friday and posted their first weekly decline in three, according to Bloomberg. Libya lifted force majeure on its Ras Lanuf and Es Sider ports and oil output will surpass 1 million barrels a day in four weeks, according to the state-run National Oil Corp. A further increment in Libyan oil production will lead to more supply to an oversupplied market that is wrestling with a pandemic-induced sales decline.

This declaration comes in the wake of the ongoing tussles in the North African region, which marked a lasting truce arrangement.

READ: OPEC+ to reduce production cuts in August to 7.7 million barrels a day

Finance Minister, Faraj Boumtari, told Al-Jazeera that in recent years, the regular oil barricades in Libya have cost the nation a sum of US$130 billion in lost incomes.

The truce in Libya is just going to empower more production there and keep it consistent for some time, as the COVID-19 circumstance is not generally improving. Libya’s oil industry has been tormented by battles, as opponent groups have been battling for authority over zones in Libya and its oil terminals and ports since the overturning of Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.


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READ: Libya’s output could destabilise OPEC’s cuts and affect crude prices

In other news, Russia downplayed the likelihood that OPEC+ could expand its present 7.7 million barrels everyday production cuts in one year from now, as per Russian President Vladimir Putin. The remarks could be only jawboning to a market that is urgently looking for consolations that oil production will not increase excessively. However, Russia has in the past been hesitant to keep up its part of the oil production cuts; So, any notice that it is contemplating a slower tightening of the cuts is critical.

Russia had neglected to cut its own oil production to the level it consented to in 2019 and mid-2020. Given how oil production in the United States bounced back two weeks ago, however, it was still down from its March 13 high of 13.1 million bpd. U.S. oil production presently sits at 10.5 million bpd – 2.6 million bpd under those March highs, as indicated by the Energy Information Administration –

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READ: 4 key reasons why Brent crude might slip back to $35 per barrel

China has assumed a critical function in supporting global oil demand as of late, by bringing in its most volumes since May. In contrast, there is a slow recovery in the remainder of Asia and poor refining margins. But how long would China be able to help the fragile global oil market, when demand outside China is weak, with the second wave of COVID-19 contaminations wrecking world economies.

In recent months, China’s unrefined petroleum imports have not fallen under 11 million barrels per day (bpd), with June orders of 12.9 million bpd crushing the past record from May by more than 1.5 million bpd. The market is feeling pressure amid rising COVID-19 cases in the United States and Europe, and also due to Libyan oil production.

READ: Oil supply feared to drop by 3%, as new cases of COVID-19 infections increase

A few U.S. states detailed daily record increments in COVID-19 infections on Thursday, raising worries about future gasoline interest, while France extended curfews as the second wave of the pandemic compasses across Europe.  Oil prices rose last week when the House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, spoke about the possibility of a stimulus package.

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