Oil rebounded from the lowest close in more than a month after clashes halted what would be the first crude shipment from Libya’s Ras Lanuf export terminal since 2014. Futures rose as much as 2.1 percent in New York after losing 2 percent on Friday. The tanker Seadelta suspended loading after fighting started Sunday between local Petroleum Facilities Guard units and forces loyal to eastern-based military commander Khalifa Haftar. OPEC may call an extraordinary meeting if ministers reach consensus at an informal gathering next week, Secretary General Mohammed Barkindo said, according to the Algerian Press Service.
Oil has fluctuated since rallying in August on speculation the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia will agree on measures to stabilize the market at the meeting Sept. 27 in Algiers. Prices tumbled 6.2 percent last week amid concern the resumption of shipments from Libya, as well as Nigeria, would worsen a global glut.
“Hopes of a soon-to-come increase in Libyan oil exports faded as loading disruptions halted ships from the Ras Lanuf port,” Michael Poulsen, an analyst at Global Risk Management Ltd., said
in a report.West Texas Intermediate for October delivery, which expires Tuesday, gained as much as 88 cents to
$43.91 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $43.72 as of 9:31 a.m. London time. The contract fell 88 cents to settle at $43.03 a barrel on Friday, the lowest close since Aug. 10. The more-active November contract was up 70 cents at $44.32.
Brent for November settlement added as much as 85 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $46.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices declined 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, to $45.77 a barrel on Friday. The global benchmark traded at a $2.11 premium to WTI for November delivery.
The fighting in Libya forced the tanker Seadelta to suspend the loading of 781,000 barrels of oil for shipment to Italy, Nasser Delaab, petroleum operations inspector at Harouge Oil Operations, said by phone. The tanker, which began loading earlier Sunday, sailed away from Ras Lanuf and may return to the port to finish taking on oil on Monday, he said.
The OPEC gathering this month will be a “meeting of consultation and not of decision-making,” Secretary General Barkindo said, according to Algeria’s official news agency. U.S. explorers added two drilling rigs last week, bringing the total to the highest since February, Baker Hughes Inc. data showed Friday.