Oil prices fall further as Libyan field resumes production

TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices slipped further in Asian trading on Tuesday following a recovery in output at Libya’s largest oil field and amid ongoing doubts about OPEC-led production cuts.

Global benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 18 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $52.19 a barrel by 0038 GMT after dipping 0.1 percent in the previous session.

U.S. crude futures CLc1 were down 13 cents, or 0.3 percent, at $49.26 a barrel, having fallen 0.4 percent on Monday.

Production from Libya’s Sharara field was returning to normal after a brief disruption when armed protesters broke into a control room in the coastal city of Zawiya, the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Monday.

The field has been producing about 270,000 barrels a day (bpd), accounting for about a quarter of the country’s output, which climbed to more than 1 million bpd in late June from just over 200,000 bpd a year ago.

Libya was exempted from a push to cut global production and bolster oil prices led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers like Russia.

The recovery of the North African country’s output has complicated the bloc’s efforts to curb supply, fueling doubts over the effectiveness of the output cuts.

OPEC output hit a 2017 high in July and its exports hit a record.

Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways to boost compliance with the deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in production.

Oil output in the United States remained high, although Baker Hughes data on Friday showed a cut of one drilling rig in the week to Aug. 4. RIG-OL-USA-BHI

Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Richard Pullin

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