Oil prices rise on supply concern

Published May 09, 2007 12:00am

LONDON, May 8: World oil prices climbed on Tuesday on supply concerns as militants launched fresh attacks on oil installations in Nigeria, Africa's largest producer of crude, traders said.

In London, the price of Brent North Sea crude for June delivery rose 93 cents to $65.37 per barrel in electronic deals.

New York's main oil futures contract, light sweet crude for delivery in June, gained 73 cents to $62.20 per barrel in floor trading.

Crude futures advanced on Monday, “finally reversing a six day negative run, underpinned by news of more violence in Nigeria,” Sucden analyst Michael Davies said in London.

“Recently, crude futures fell under pressure from rising crude inventories and forecasts of increasing refinery utilisation,” he added.

As part of its avowed bid to cripple the Nigerian oil industry, the country's most high-profile armed group said it destroyed three major pipelines Tuesday in the oil-rich south of the country.

“Fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked and destroyed three major pipelines in Bayelsa state,” the group's spokesman said in an email message to the media.

Nigeria is the world's sixth-biggest oil exporter but its output is being severely hit by frequent kidnappings of foreign oil workers and attacks on pipelines.

In a separate, positive development however, sources said that three South Korean and eight Filipino hostages seized last week at a Daewoo construction site in southern Nigeria had been released.

Meanwhile, MEND, which has grabbed headlines in recent weeks and months with its kidnappings of foreign oil workers, said the destruction of one of the pipelines, at Brass, resulted in an immediate power outage at a facility run by Italian oil company Agip, part of the ENI energy group.

In a statement, ENI confirmed that two of its pipelines had been “sabotaged” and production from two oil fields suspended as a precautionary measure.—AFP

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