Oil prices gain with supply fears over Libya, Rosneft
Crude oil prices were trading with gains on Feb. 19 as a result of growing supply concern in Libya and with U.S. sanctions on a subsidiary of Russian oil firm Rosneft.
Libya's National Oil Corporation (NOC) said in a statement on Feb. 18 that fuel vessels were urgently evacuated from the Tripoli port and all offloading operations were cancelled after missiles struck close to a highly explosive liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanker discharging in the port.
After the attack, the LPG tanker and a gasoline tanker in Tripoli immediately left the port for safe waters, according to the statement.
"Today's attack on Tripoli port could have led to a humanitarian and environmental disaster and it could have a significant impact on a crowded region like Tripoli," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in the statement.
The U.S. imposed sanctions on Feb. 18 on a subsidiary of Russian energy firm Rosneft for allegedly helping to skirt sanctions on Venezuela.
The sanctioning of Rosneft Trading S.A., a Switzerland-incorporated subsidiary that the U.S. State and Treasury departments said serves as an oil brokerage firm, was done because it operates in Venezuela's oil sector, which the U.S. sanctioned in January 2019.
Due to increasing supply risks on the global oil market, crude prices showed some gains.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $58.19 per barrel on Feb. 19 for a 0.9 percent gain after closing previous day at $57.67 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $52.70 a barrel at the same time for a 0.57 percent increase after ending the previous session at $52.40 per barrel.