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Oil holds at USD103 on ample supplies

Friday, August 15 15:55:09

Brent crude stabilised below $103 a barrel today, close to a 13-month low, on ample supplies of high-quality oil and signs that faltering global economic growth may be capping fuel demand.

Economic growth in Germany and France ground to a halt in the second quarter, and implied oil demand in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer, fell 6 percent in July.

Oil supplies have been increasing steadily, with U.S. crude production up more than 3 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2010 thanks to output from shale resources, which are beginning to be tapped in many other parts of the world.

Investors are now worrying less about potential supply disruptions and more about what the International Energy Agency this week called a "glut" of high-quality, light crude in the Atlantic basin, analysts and brokers say.

"Fundamentals are bearish, I think, with Libya's exports resuming and no supply disruption in the Middle East," said Tamas Varga, an oil analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

October Brent crude recovered 50 cents to $102.57 a barrel by 1340 GMT. The September Brent contract, which expired on Thursday, tumbled $2 to settle at $102.01, the lowest for front-month prices since June 2013.

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