BRENT price climbed above the $50-per-barrel mark on Thursday, as production outages brought a faster-than-expected recovery to an oversupplied market.
Many stakeholders have thought that price will remained at low level throughout the year.
Brent was up 14 cents at $49.88 a barrel by 11:36 a.m. EDT (1536 GMT) after soaring to $50.51, its highest since early November.
But unrest in the Nigerian and Libyan energy sectors and a near economic recession Venezuela had reduced production by four million barrels per day.
As militants bombed the Chevron facilities on Thursday, a source told Reuters that “it is a crude line which means all activities in Chevron are grounded.”
Shell, Agip, Chevron and ExxonMobil have suffered one attack or the other by the militants, forcing Nigeria’s output to fall to about 1.1million barrels per day output.
The development may lead to economic recession, as the 2016 budget was based on 2.2 million barrels per day at $38 per barrel benchmark.
Investors will be watching next month’s meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) for signs of a output hike now that oil had reached $50.
OPEC officials gathered in Vienna, ahead of the June 2 meeting of the group’s oil ministers, have said any official change to its output policy was unlikely.
Shell halts external movement of staff
The management of Shell Petroleum is said to have halted the external movements of its employees between today and Monday.
The order, SaharaReporters reported, was the subject of an internal email sent to staff, following the latest bombing of Chevron tank farm in Escravos by the Niger Delta Avengers.
The internal memo read: “As you know, May 29 is Democracy Day and also the first anniversary of the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The safety of our people and assets remain my utmost priority and, therefore, in line with our continuing policy of ‘prudent overreaction’, the following measures are designed to further reduce exposure to staff during this period.
“From midnight today, May 26 until 08.00 Monday, May 30, all external movements from Forcados, Escravos and the Ogbe-Ijoh operational area should cease.
“However, the Forcados Export Line work can continue in line with the standing security plan.”
The spokesperson, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Mr Gbenga Odugbesan, when asked about the development said “whereas I may not be able to comment on an internal communication to staff, I like to say that we monitor closely the security situation in the Niger Delta and will do whatever is necessary to ensure the safety of our staff.”