Oil prices stable as traders track eurozone, Libya

21st October 2011, Comments 0 comments

Oil prices steadied Friday as investors looked to upcoming summits aimed at resolving Europe's debt crisis, while analysts said the death of Libya's Moamer Kadhafi had limited impact on markets.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude crude for delivery in December climbed 24 cents to $86.31 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December dipped 22 cents to $109.54 per barrel in London midday trade.

Prices were steady as "hopes for the announced broad-based solution to the eurozone sovereign debt crisis have suffered a setback," said Commerzbank commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch.

"The news of the death of the former Libyan leader Kadhafi and two of his sons did not have any major negative impact on the oil price either, although this increases the chances of a peaceful new beginning for the country which was the third-largest African oil producer before the civil war."

Libya was producing about 1.4 million barrels per day of mostly high-value light sweet crude before the uprising at the start of the year.

Around 85 percent of Libyan output was exported to Europe, and the break in supply contributed to a surge in Brent.

However, Phillip Futures said in a report: "While North Sea production problems have been supportive to oil prices and Brent in particular, traders and analysts expect the return of Libyan oil exports to continue, unaffected by the death of Libya's ousted leader Moamer Kadhafi."

Oil cartel OPEC sees member Libya restoring production to one million barrels per day within six months, then attaining pre-conflict levels by the end of 2012.

© 2011 AFP

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