Oil Prices Rise; IMF’s Growth Forecast Cut, Libya Crisis in Focus (REALCOMMODITY.COM: 8077694749, 9720148005)

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Oil prices rose on Wednesday in Asia as traders weighed the impact of the IMF’s latest economic growth forecast cut and geopolitical concerns in Libya.

U.S. Crude Oil WTI Futures was up 0.3% to $64.14 by 1:06 AM ET (05:06 GMT).

International Brent Oil Futures inched up 0.1% to $70.79/

Brent and WTI crude oil futures have risen by around 40% and 30% respectively since the start of the year.

In Libya, forces loyal to renegade general Khalifa Haftar continued their advance on the capital, striking Tripoli’s only working airport and ignoring international calls for a truce. Haftar’s forces are already in control of oil fields that produce half or more of Libya’s total output of about 1.1 million barrels of crude a day.

Any disruption in Libyan oil volumes will further squeeze a global crude market already in panic mode from U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.

In addition to concerns over the ongoing conflict in Libya, John Driscoll, chief strategist at JTD Energy Services, told CNBC in an interview that Venezuela and Iran are other potential sources of risks for the oil markets.

For Venezuela, he said: “Things are terrible there, oil output is plummeting, then you’ve got this wave of electrical outages that have halved their exports.”

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