Oil pumps again in Sharara oilfield in Libya

Pipes are pictured at Libya’s El Sharara oilfield December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

Oil steadied after its steepest weekly loss in a month as Libya resumed production at its biggest oilfield following a brief halt.

Futures in New York rose 0.2 percent after a 3.6 percent decline last week. The Sharara field, Libya’s biggest, has started producing again after stopping on Sunday following a closure of the pipeline carrying oil to the Zawiya refinery, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. The halt came shortly after protests disrupted output at another Libyan deposit in February.

Libyan production had been surging in recent months, becoming a thorn for the market on concern that further growth could test the country’s pledge to curb production as part of OPEC’s plan to limit a global oversupply. The increase, together with warnings of rising U.S. output from organizations including the the International Energy Agency, has prevented prices from regaining the highs of January even as most OPEC members continue to cut supply.

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