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South Sudan rebels order oil shutdown, battle over town

South Sudanese rebels clashed with government troops Tuesday in the key oil town of Bentiu, with the guerrillas demanding that companies end production as they sought to capture oilfields. Rebel spokesman Lul Ruai Koang claimed to have captured the town, one of the most bitterly contested regions in the four-month-long conflict, but the army rejected their claims. "The recapturing of Bentiu marks the first phase of liberation of oilfields," Koang said in a statement. Army spokesman Philip Aguer confirmed fighting in the town but said it had not fallen.

Total announces go-ahead for ultra-deep Angolan oil field

French oil group Total has found ways of reducing the cost of extracting ultra-deep Angolan offshore oil reserves by a fifth and has decided to go ahead with investment in the Kaombo project, the firm said on Monday. Total and its venture partners have found ways of reducing the overall capital cost by $4.0 billion (2.9 billion euros) to $16.0 billion, and production is set to begin in 2017, Total said in a statement. The field has estimated reserves of 650 million barrels and should produce 230,000 barrels per day, Total said.

US crude oil rises on prospects for gasoline demand

US crude oil prices closed higher Friday, lifted by market hopes for stronger demand in the United States ahead of the nation's summer holiday driving season. But traders kept a cautious eye on the situation in Libya, where the government's deal with rebels lifting their blockades of oil terminals would allow Libyan oil to return to the market. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for delivery in May closed at $103.74 a barrel, a gain of 34 cents from Thursday. Brent North Sea crude for May fell 13 cents to settle at $107.33 a barrel in London.

Iran's oil exports surge above West's sanctions cap: IEA

By Ron Bousso and Timothy Gardner LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran's crude oil exports have surged to their highest in 20 months, far exceeding a 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by the West under an interim deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program. The International Energy Agency's monthly report revised February's global crude imports from Iran upwards by 240,000 bpd to 1.65 million barrels per day, the highest since June 2012.

Iran's oil exports surge above West's sanctions cap: IEA

By Ron Bousso and Timothy Gardner LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran's crude oil exports have surged to their highest in 20 months, far exceeding a 1 million barrel-per-day limit set by the West under an interim deal on curbing Tehran's nuclear program. The International Energy Agency's monthly report revised February's global crude imports from Iran upwards by 240,000 bpd to 1.65 million barrels per day, the highest since June 2012.

Libya's western Zawiya oil port, refinery shut by protests

By Feras Bosalum and Julia Payne TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Libya's bid to resume normal oil exports after blockades at eastern ports that have lasted months stumbled on Friday when the oil terminal and refinery at Zawiya in the west were closed by fresh protests. A blockade by local citizens late on Thursday prevented oil workers from discharging several oil product deliveries and forced the 120,000-barrel-per-day refinery to shut down, according to a government statement and a state oil company spokesman.

Crimea clouds oil market outlook

The global oil market is returning to a rough balance but Russia's annexation of Crimea has clouded the outlook with both supply and demand growth to slow, the International Energy Agency said Friday. While the IEA has recently been warning of tight markets as oil demand picks up with a recovery of the global economy, it said stocks had improved and a slowdown in the Russian economy would also help relieve pressure.

Crimea clouds oil market outlook

The global oil market is returning to a rough balance but Russia's annexation of Crimea has clouded the outlook with both supply and demand growth to slow, the International Energy Agency said Friday. While the IEA has recently been warning of tight markets as oil demand picks up with a recovery of the global economy, it said stocks had improved and a slowdown in the Russian economy would also help relieve pressure.

Crude oil prices fall further in Asia

Oil prices extended losses in Asian trade Friday as data showing a slowdown in China's giant economy sparked concerns about weak demand. Expectations that Libyan oil will return to the market after rebels lifted a blockade of crude terminals also helped push prices lower, analysts said. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for May delivery eased 33 cents to $103.07 a barrel in afternoon trade while Brent North Sea crude dipped 24 cents to $107.22 for its May contract.

Crude oil prices fall further in Asia

Oil prices extended losses in Asian trade Friday as data showing a slowdown in China's giant economy sparked concerns about weak demand. Expectations that Libyan oil will return to the market after rebels lifted a blockade of crude terminals also helped push prices lower, analysts said. New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate for May delivery eased 16 cents to $103.24 a barrel in mid-morning trade while Brent North Sea crude tumbled 12 cents to $107.34 for its May contract.
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