Libya lifts force majeure at Zueitina
The Libyan National Oil Corp. announced it lifted a legal clause that absolved it from meeting contractual obligations at the eastern oil terminal because of what it said was an "improvement of the circumstances" in the country. NOC said the first barrels from the 70,000 bpd facility could leave the eastern port at some point this week. The port's re-opening is a response to a deal brokered with eastern rebel leaders last month and Libyan Justice Minister Salah al-Merghani said protracted conflict could drag the country into war. Libya's oil output, however, remains a shadow of its peak post-war capacity of 1.4 million bpd.
U.S. crude oil imports continue steady decline
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said crude oil imports averaged 7.5 million barrels per day for the week ending April 25. That's down 313,000 bpd from the previous week and establishes a steady trend that reflects accelerated domestic crude oil production. Domestic production for the week averaged 8.5 million bpd, which marks a 14.2 percent increase from the same time last year. U.S. crude oil inventories, meanwhile, increased by 1.7 million barrels, not counting the barrels stored in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Nevertheless, the level of import decline was slow. EIA said the average level reported during the last four-week period was only 0.1 percent lower year-on-year.
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