Crude slid on Thursday, with U.S. oil ending at an 8-month low after news that production was restarting at a key North Sea oilfield, and as the market weighed Libya's resolve to get oil exports on track.
Brent crude oil rose to more than $108 a barrel early in the session, prompted by supply concerns after Nexen reported an outage at the North Sea Buzzard oilfield, the largest Forties crude blend producing field. Forties is the most important of the North Sea crudes underpinning the Brent benchmark. Prices retreated after Nexen said it was in the process of restarting production and expected output to return to normal levels.
Libya is now producing around 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil, of which 510,000 bpd is being exported. This is up from below 100,000 barrels per day of exports late last year but still around half of exports before protests throttled Libya's output.