World oil prices rose in Asia yesterday after militants blew up a Nigerian oil pipeline, intensifying concerns about tight global crude supplies despite Saudi Arabia's output hike, dealers said.
New York’s main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for August delivery, was US$0.94 higher at US$136.30 per barrel. The July contract had leapt US$2.69 to close at US$134.62 before expiring on Friday.
Brent North Sea crude for August was US$0.94 higher at US$135.80 per barrel after rising US$2.86 to settle at US$134.86 on Friday in London.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah on Sunday condemned oil “speculators” at a summit of leaders that debated the spiraling price of crude, which has doubled over the past year.
The king also announced Saudi output had risen to 9.7 million barrels per day, from 9.45 million barrels earlier, amid growing calls from consumer nations for the feverish rise in crude prices to be brought under more control.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s lynchpin oil producer and the largest in OPEC, which pumps about 40 percent of the world’s crude.
But experts said there were other sources of tension in the oil market counteracting the Saudi output hike.
“It’s really not too significant compared to the disruption in Nigeria,” said Victor Shum of Purvin and Gertz international energy consultancy in Singapore.
Militants in Nigeria blew up a key Chevron oil supply pipeline in the latest attack targeting the country’s oil industry, company and military sources said on Saturday.
The US oil giant was forced to shut down operations after the attack in the volatile Niger Delta, halting output by 120,000 barrels per day, an industry source said.
The Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell has also said it cannot promise to deliver 225,000 barrels per day for this month and next following an unprecedented raid on its offshore Bonga oilfield.
Unrest in the Niger Delta has cut total oil production in one of Africa’s biggest producers by a quarter over the past two years.
“There were no concrete measures that would change the structural tightness in global oil markets,” Shum said of the summit in Jeddah.
Neither were there measures to address geopolitical factors that have also helped boost prices, Shum said.
Among those factors are worries about a possible Israeli military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“With further threat of attack on Iran from Israel and further supply disruptions in Nigeria, the oil price is now destined to rise further,” said John Hall, who runs energy consultancy John Hall Associates.
The summit called for greater transparency in market dealings and for an increase in investment to ensure adequate supplies.
The Saudi king vowed to further increase production if necessary.
The price of oil soared to almost US$140 per barrel this month, sparking angry protests in several countries and fears for global economic growth.
The monarch told the summit that his country was “very concerned” about consumers worldwide in the wake of the sharp rise in crude costs. He blamed increased oil consumption and taxes on fuel, but added: “Among other factors behind this unjust increase in oil prices is the abhorrent act of speculators acting for their own selfish interests.”
FORCED LABOR: Customs officials have seized a 11.8 tonne shipment of products made from human hair on suspicion they were produced by people facing human rights abuses Federal authorities in New York City on Wednesday seized a shipment of weaves and other beauty accessories suspected to be made out of human hair taken from people locked inside a Chinese internment camp. US Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officials said that 11.8 tonnes of hair products worth an estimated US$800,000 were in the shipment. “The production of these goods constitutes a very serious human rights violation, and the detention order is intended to send a clear and direct message to all entities seeking to do business with the United States that illicit and inhumane practices will not be tolerated in
JUST QUESTIONS: Expelled reporter Ai Kezhu said that every member of Southeast Television had complied with the law and had not appeared on any talk shows Two Chinese reporters yesterday left Taiwan after the government revoked their accreditation and ordered them to leave amid a probe into allegations that several Chinese media outlets have set up studios and produced political talk shows in Taiwan. The two reporters — Ai Kezhu (艾珂竹) and Lu Qiang (盧薔) — worked for Fujian Province-based Southeast Television and arrived in Taiwan in December last year. The Mainland Affairs Council has launched an investigation after local media reported that Chinese broadcasters — including China Central Television, Southeast Television and FJTV — had set up studios in Taipei and produced political talk shows. Council Deputy Minister
PROBE LAUNCHED: An officer who served as a supervisor in the drill died in an apparent suicide after the accident, which was caused by unexpected waves Two marines who were on Friday injured in a military exercise in the waters off Kaohsiung passed away yesterday, Navy Command said. The marines — surnamed Tsai (蔡), 26, and a sergeant surnamed Chen (陳), 36 — were in a seven-member Marine Corps team that encountered rough seas during a simulated response to enemy forces landing on Taiwan. Their rubber craft overturned in waters off Taoziyuan (桃子園) beach in Zuoying District (左營), injuring four of the marines. They were rushed to hospital, where three of them — Tsai, Chen and a 34-year-old sergeant — were taken to an intensive care unit
‘SIGNAL TO ALLIES’: The US Navy’s exercises are not in response to those carried out by China, the commander of the strike group led by the USS ‘Ronald Reagan’ said Two US aircraft carriers were yesterday conducting exercises in the disputed South China Sea, the US Navy said as China also carried out military drills that have been criticized by the US Department of Defense and neighboring states. China and the US have accused each other of stoking tension in the waterway at a time of strained relations over everything from COVID-19 to trade to Hong Kong. The USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan were carrying out operations and exercises in the South China Sea “to support a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the navy said in a statement. It did not say exactly