Libya says 11 oil fields non-operational after IS attacks

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's state-run oil corporation has declared 11 oil fields in the country non-operational after attacks by suspected Islamic State militants, opting for a force majeure clause that exempts the state from contractual obligations.

The National Oil Corporation blamed Islamist-backed authorities in the capital Tripoli for failing to protect the oil fields. The statement, issued late Wednesday, said "theft, looting, sabotage and destruction" of the oil fields have been on the rise despite pleas for the authorities to ensure the safety of Libya's oil installations.


Fighting over oil moves Libya to declare force majeure

The Wall Street Journal

Libya’s National Oil Corporation says it is no longer able to guarantee security at the 11 oilfields in the center of the country, and has declared force majeure to protect it from legal action against any supply disruptions, The Wall Street Journal reports.


Oil mixed ahead of stockpile numbers

Weak European economic data put pressure on international crude in trading early Wednesday, while the U.S. benchmark was slightly higher ahead of the release of weekly U.S. stockpile data.

According to a Bloomberg survey, the Energy Information Agency report was expected to show a gain in crude but a drop in gasoline and distillate inventories, said analyst Myrto Sokuo from Sucden Financial.


US running out of room to store oil; price collapse next?

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. has so much crude that it is running out of places to put it, and that could drive oil and gasoline prices even lower in the coming months.

For the past seven weeks, the United States has been producing and importing an average of 1 million more barrels of oil every day than it is consuming. That extra crude is flowing into storage tanks, especially at the country's main trading hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, pushing U.S. supplies to their highest point in at least 80 years, the Energy Department reported last week.


Oil mixed on Saudi comments, stocks numbers

The report from the Energy Information Administration of an 8.4 million increase in U.S. crude stocks last week was pressuring oil prices early Thursday.

Benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery dropped 48 cents to $50.51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, the contract had jumped $1.71 to $50.99 after the EIA reported diesel and gasoline inventories fell more than expected, indicating a pickup in demand.


Oil on wild ride; How will it end?

NEW YORK (AP) — The price of oil is on a wild ride, and there is little agreement on where it's headed.

After falling nearly 60 percent from a peak last June, the price of oil bounced back more than 20 percent as January turned to February. Then, on Tuesday, it sunk 5 percent, closing just above $50. Oil has fallen or risen by 3 percent or more on 14 of 27 trading days so far this year. By comparison, the stock market hasn't had a move that big in more than three years.


Moody's' downgrades credit rating of Brazil's Petrobras

SAO PAULO (AP) — Moody's Investors Service has downgraded the credit rating of Brazil's state-owned oil company because of the widening kickback-corruption scandal affecting Petrobras.

The credit rating agency announced its decision late Thursday in a statement posted on its website.


Government sells scandalized Teapot Dome oilfield for $45M

CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — A private company finally will be able to drill legally for oil at Teapot Dome, a remote Wyoming oilfield that remains best known for a political scandal that embroiled the administration of President Warren G. Harding in the early 1920s.

The Energy Department announced Friday that it had finalized the sale of the 9,481-acre Teapot Dome oilfield to New York-based Stranded Oil Resources Corporation for $45.2 million. Stranded Oil was the highest of nine bidders last fall.


OPEC sees higher January output


A survey conducted by Reuters reports that OPEC output rose by 130,000 barrels per day in January as Angola boosted exports and Persian Gulf producers kept steady or increased output, a signal that some members plan to stay the course on maintaining output despite low oil prices.


Markets brace for Big Oil profit plunge

NEW YORK (AP) — It's just a forecast, and for only one of 10 industry groups in the stock market. Yet it has almost singlehandedly turned what had been a strong earnings season into a weak one.

Profits for companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index are expected to have grown in the fourth quarter at one of the lowest rates in years, just 2.2 percent. The culprit: Energy companies that suffered as oil prices plunged. Their profits are expected to have dropped 23 percent, a collapse of fortune nearly unheard of outside of a recession, and one that has weighed on the stock market.


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