EconSource: Libya’s Rival Forces Warn Tobruk Government Against Independent Oil Sales

Libyan forces opposed to the country’s internationally recognized government in Tobruk have warned it that any attempts to export oil independently would force them to take military action to seize oil ports and facilities. Forces with the Tobruk government government hold two key oil ports, Ras Lanuf and Es Sider, and Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni said over the weekend he would seek independent oil sales and open a bank account overseas to hold revenues. A spokesman for forces allied with the rival Tripoli government said any attempt by Thinni to sell oil bypassing the central bank and the National Oil Corporation (NOC) would trigger military action. [Reuters, 4/8/2015]

Moody’s raises Egypt’s credit rating, says economy improved
Moody’s Investor Service has upgraded Egypt’s credit rating, saying macroeconomic performance has improved and external vulnerabilities have been reduced.  Moody’s ranked Egypt at B3 on its scale — speculative and subject to high credit risk — with a stable outlook, an improvement from its previous classification of Caa1. Moody’s says it expects economic growth to accelerate over the coming four years. Meanwhile, Egypt’s Central Bank Governor said Egypt will receive $6 billion in pledged deposits from the Gulf within ten days. [AP, 5/7/2014]

In discussions between Iraq and the IMF, no decision on aid request
Iraq is discussing its financial situation with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but has made no decision to request emergency assistance, Finance Minister Hoshiyar Zebari has said. The plunge in oil prices since last year has ravaged Iraq’s state finances. The government has projected a budget deficit of roughly $21 billion this year and has been building up debts to companies developing its oil fields. Zebari did not elaborate on what aid might be provided by the IMF. [Reuters, 4/7/2015]

Saudi Arabia boosts crude oil production to highest level on record
Saudi Arabia has revved up crude production to its highest rate on record, feeding unexpectedly strong demand from foreign refiners and increased capacity at home. The country’s oil minister said Saudi Arabia produced a record 10.3 million barrels per day of crude in March. The increase in output reaffirms the country’s vow not to cede market share to higher-cost producers. [The Guardian, 4/7/2015]

Also of interest
Libya fight over oil money complicates efforts to boost exports | Bloomberg
Lower oil prices may hit earnings of Gulf banks | Gulf Daily News
Saudis say efficiency drive to save 20 percent of energy use | Reuters
IMF says Qatar has lowest energy subsidies in GCC | Gulf Times
Shell to buy BG for $70 billion, gets access to Egypt operations | Reuters
Morocco’s renewable energy boom (blog) | MOTM