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Wednesday, 29 January 20
MARKET INSIGHT - INTERMODAL
IntermodalLast week Libya’s oil production operations were disrupted as it was reported that local Libyan tribes interrupted output at the the El Feel and Sharara fields and blocked the transportation of crude oil to the Zawiya export terminal. Overall the aforesaid oil fields produce approximately 70,000bpd and 300,00bpd, comprising the nation’s leading producing fields. Particularly, Sharara field is operated by NOC in a joint venture with Spain’s Repsol, France’s Total, Austria’s OMV and Norway’s Equinor and El Feel is operated by the NOC and Italy’s Eni.
 
Libya’s state oil company has recently professed a force majeure after exports from the eastern ports of Brega, Ras Lanuf, Hariga, Zueitina and Sidra were blocked. Accordingly, this has overall resulted to almost 800,000bp of the total 1.23mbd being cut off from the country’s crude oil output, a figure that could get even smaller. So far, the financial losses are calculated at approximately USD 40 million/day as reported by NOC, with the above disruption being the biggest on record since the September attacks to the Middle East oil facilities.
 
The knee jerk reaction was an increase of oil prices, which nonetheless failed to last.  The fast increase of oil production from non-OPEC producers (United States, Brazil, Guyana, and Norway) together with the recent outbreak of the coronavirus in China, have shifted investors’ expectations in regards to future demand for the commodity and have already pushed oil prices down.
 
Overall, discussions and concerns are focused on how long Libya’s main export terminals will remain closed for, with Europe being Libya’s largest oil importer. If no quick resolution is provided fuel loadings from the Mediterranean will continue to drop. It is argued that local refineries will source crude from other areas such as the Unites States, Africa and NW Europe. Therefore lengthier hauls of Aframax and Suezmax vessels may be reinforced, while Black Sea loadings could also contest with consumers East of Suez.
 
Overall, NOC’s declaration of force majeure can allow Libya, which holds Africa’s largest-proven oil reserves, to legally suspend delivery contracts. Having said that, pressure from the negative financial effects on participants will hopefully lead to a resolution of the current turmoil sooner rather than later. Obviously this is a complex political condition with multiple effects and economic impact while the recent Berlin summit tried to take a step closer to achieving peace in the area.
 
Last week the US Embassy in Libya urged for an immediate reopening of oil production fields in view of risks intensifying the humanitarian emergency in the country. Looking forward, it is challenging to forecast when Libyan crude production will resume. Output and exports may be speedily restored, however if the disruption continues beyond the upcoming refinery maintenance season in Europe, then the market impact will be sizeable and changes in trade flows even more apparent.
By Katerina Restis
Tanker Chartering
 
Compiled by:
Intermodal Research & Valuations


Analysts:
Ms Eva Tzima

Mr.George Panagopoulos


Disclaimer and legal disclosure: For any further queries please do not hesitate to contact our Research & Valuations Department. The information contained in this report has been obtained from various sources, as reported in the market. Intermodal Shipbrokers Co. believes such information to be factual and reliable without making guarantees regarding its accuracy or completeness. Whilst every care has been taken in the production of the above review, no liability can be accepted for any loss or damage incurred in any way whatsoever by any person who may seek to rely on the information and views contained in this material. This report is being produced for the internal use of the intended recipients only and no reproducing is allowed, without the prior written authorization of Intermodal Shipbrokers Co.
 
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