Oil edges higher toward $66 as OPEC-led cuts in view

An oil platform in the Bouri Oilfield some 70 nautical miles north of the coast of Libya. Putting a dampener on the market was the restart of the country’s El Sharara oilfield. (Reuters)
Updated 05 March 2019
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Oil edges higher toward $66 as OPEC-led cuts in view

  • Market balanced OPEC-led efforts to tighten supply with the restart of Libya’s biggest oilfield and the prospect of weaker demand
  • To support prices, OPEC and its allies, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been cutting output by 1.2 million barrels bpd since the start of the year

LONDON: Oil edged higher toward $66 a barrel on Tuesday as the market balanced OPEC-led efforts to tighten supply with the restart of Libya’s biggest oilfield and the prospect of weaker demand.
Supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies have helped to drive a 20 percent gain for Brent crude this year. Russia plans to speed up its output cuts this month, the energy minister said on Monday.
Brent, the international benchmark, rose 8 cents to $65.75 a barrel as of 1212 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate crude added 23 cents to $56.82.
“It appears that Saudi Arabia and Russia would be happy with crude oil prices of between $60 and $70 for the rest of this year,” said Ole Hansen of Saxo Bank.
A Brent price of $70, he added, “can be reached quite soon,” citing OPEC cuts, US sanctions against OPEC members Iran and Venezuela, and slowing USshale oil production growth.
Putting a dampener on the market was the restart of Libya’s El Sharara oilfield, where the aim is to reach initial output of 80,000 barrels per day. The field had been closed since December.
“This will increase the oil production of Libya, and thus of OPEC, by more than 300,000 barrels per day,” said Commerzbank in a report. “The oil market will then be slightly oversupplied again unless production is cut further or unscheduled outages occur elsewhere.”
Expectations that the latest round of US inventory reports will show rising crude stockpiles also limited the upside. Six analysts polled by Reuters estimated, on average, that crude stocks rose 400,000 barrels in the week to March 1.
The first supply report is due at 2130 GMT from the American Petroleum Institute (API), an industry group, followed by the government’s official figures on Wednesday.
Concern about a slowdown in oil demand growth has weighed on prices.
China’s government said it is targeting economic growth of 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2019, less than 6.6 percent growth reported last year and raising the prospect of slowing fuel demand.
To support prices, OPEC and its allies, an alliance known as OPEC+, have been cutting output by 1.2 million barrels bpd since the start of the year.
The actual cut has exceeded the pledged amount because of the sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, plus unrest in Libya that had prompted the closure of El Sharara, giving an additional tailwind to prices.


Egypt’s aviation ministry to increase departure fee for travelers in November: Reports 

Updated 19 March 2019
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Egypt’s aviation ministry to increase departure fee for travelers in November: Reports 

  • Media said the increase to the passenger departure fee will raise the amount to $25

CAIRO: Egypt’s Ministry of Civil Aviation has reportedly announced a $5 increase in the travelers’ departure fee starting from next November, local newspapers reported on Tuesday.

Media said the increase to the passenger departure fee will raise the amount to $25, to be obtained indirectly for each passenger flying on regular or charter flights — both internationally and domestically — from Egyptian airports. 

The rate has not changed since 2013, the ministry said in a statement quoted by Al-Ahram Newspaper

The proposed increase was adopted by the Supreme Council for Pricing after "careful consideration" and according to normal practice in airports worldwide, it added.  

The ministry said the increase is in line with the challenges and demands needed for the development of the entire service system at Egyptian airports.