Libyan woes cut output forecast

Crude oil production in Opec countries would decline this year by more than previously estimated because of renewed disruptions in Libya, Goldman Sachs said this week. Opec’s output would decline by 760 000 barrels a day from last year, according to the bank, which had previously projected an annual fall of 570 000 barrels a day. The supply reduction would keep Brent futures supported at $110 (about R1 080) a barrel, despite an accumulation in oil inventories amid weaker-than-expected fuel demand, Goldman Sachs said. Libya’s production would remain capped at 650 000 barrels a day this year, the Wall Street bank predicted. “The conflicts in the country’s east appear more permanent in nature given the diversity of involved parties, which makes a near-term resolution seem increasingly unlikely,” analysts led by Jeffrey Currie in New York said in a note to clients on Monday. “We believe that production levels will only recover to around 1.3 million barrels a day through 2014.” – Bloomberg


Licence auction in the pipeline

South Sudan planned to auction licences for new petroleum exploration blocks once it had finished mapping them, a senior energy ministry official said yesterday. The number of blocks has yet to be determined. South Sudan was producing about 190 000 barrels a day, its Petroleum and Mining Ministry said earlier this month, revising down a figure of 240 000 barrels a day it gave in September. The country has made more than $1.3 billion (R12.8bn) in oil sales since it restarted production in April after a row with Sudan led to a shutdown in exports in January. South Sudan at present has 10 exploration blocks. – Reuters


Tullow dispute ‘to end soon’

The Kenyan government expected a dispute between Tullow Oil and the local community in the north-west of the country – which led to the suspension of drilling last week – would be “resolved very soon”, a senior official said yesterday. Backed by local politicians, demonstrators from the poor northern Turkana community marched on Tullow sites demanding more jobs and other benefits. Tullow and its partner, Africa Oil, temporarily stopped drilling operations on Block 10BB and Block 13T last week due to security concerns about the protests. “We want to reiterate we take our investors seriously, and this matter will be resolved very soon,” Martin Heya, the commissioner of petroleum at the ministry of energy and petroleum, told an east African oil and gas conference. – Reuters