27 Mar '11, 3am

World looks beyond Libyan oil as conflict rages

World looks beyond Libyan oil as conflict rages

WASHINGTON: One month into its unrest, the shutdown of Libya's oil fields is creating strains in the world's oil networks as consumers scour the world to replace its highly-prized "sweet" crude. With strongman Muammar al-Gaddafi entrenched and the conflict with rebels raging on, producers see no quick return to the market for Libyan crude. That is sparking a search for reserves elsewhere in Africa and around the globe. On paper it should be easy to substitute Libya's 1.7-million-barrel a day production, which meets only two per cent of worldwide demand. Oil hyper-power Saudi Arabia has even offered to pump enough to match the Libyan shortfall. But oil markets worry about quality as well as quantity. Libya's low-sulfur "sweet" crude is much prized for being easy and cheap to refine into petrol. Much of Saudi Arabian crude is lower quality and more difficult to refine. "It's...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world_business...

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