TOKYO. — Oil prices rose to their highest in more than week yesterday after two large crude production bases in Libya began shutting down amid a military blockade, setting the stage for crude flows from the OPEC member to be cut to a trickle.
Brent crude LCOc1 futures were up by 70 cents, or 1,11 percent, to $65,55 by 0731 GMT, having earlier reached $66 a barrel, the highest since January 9. The West Texas Intermediate CLc1 contract was up by 56 cents, or 1 percent, at $59,10 a barrel, after rising to $59,73, the highest since January 10.
In the latest development in a long-running conflict in Libya, where two rival factions have claimed the right to rule the country for more than five years, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) on Sunday said two big oilfields in the southwest had begun shutting down after forces loyal to the Libyan National Army closed a pipeline.
“If this sort of disruption endures, it’s meaningful . . . the market is right to be reacting with a bullish tone,” said Lachlan Shaw, head of commodity research, at National Australia Bank in Melbourne. — Reuters.