Oil rose as Exxon Mobil Corp. declared force majeure on shipments of Nigeria’s biggest crude export grade.
Futures rose as much as 0.5 percent in New York, reversing an earlier decline of 1.4 percent. Force majeure was declared on Qua Iboe crude after “a system anomaly observed during a routine check of its loading facility,” Exxon said in an e-mailed statement Friday. This follows a similar disruption in May and June. The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group that has targeted oil installations in Nigeria this year, claimed earlier this week that they attacked the Qua Iboe crude pipeline.
Oil has traded between about $44 and $51 a barrel in the past month after almost doubling since February amid a spate of supply disruptions including the attacks in Nigeria. While there’s still a consensus that the worst of the oil glut that sent prices to a 12-year low is over, the International Energy Agency cautioned this week that “the road ahead is far from smooth” amid seasonal weakness in demand and the return of some halted supply.
West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery was at $45.79 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 11 cents, or 0.2 percent, at 1:14 p.m. London time. The grade rose 93 cents to settle at $45.68 on Thursday. Total volume traded was about 6 percent below the 100-day average.
Brent for September settlement increased 12 cents to $47.49 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract increased $1.11 to $47.37 on Thursday. The global benchmark crude traded at an 96-cent premium to WTI for September delivery.