Oil prices mixed amid Gaddafi "death"

2011-10-21 12:53:16

Oil prices were mixed on Thursday as markets reacted to news of Muammar Gaddafi -- the former strongman of crude oil-producer Libya -- who was reportedly killed.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude crude for delivery in November, fell 21 cents to $85.90 a barrel.

Brent North Sea crude for December gained one dollar to $109.39.

Gaddafi was reportedly killed Thursday by new regime forces in their final assault on the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte, a National Transitional Council spokesman said.

NTC fighters who had fought in the bloody seven-month conflict that toppled the veteran despot at a cost of more than 25,000 lives, erupted in jubilation at the news, which followed earlier reports that Gaddafi had been captured.

Libya's oil output has risen to more than 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) in recent weeks after slowing to a trickle amid heavy fighting.

A key African oil exporter, Libya produced about 1.6 million bpd before the rebellion against Gaddafi broke out at the start of 2011.

Around 85 percent of Libyan oil output was exported to Europe, with the disappearance of its high quality light sweet crude from the market one of the reasons why Brent from the North Sea has been trading much higher than oil quoted on US exchanges.

OPEC sees member Libya restoring production to one million bpd within six months, then attaining pre-conflict levels by the end of 2012.

Oil prices were also being dictated by economic worries, as investors awaited a weekend summit of European leaders on how to prevent the eurozone debt crisis from escalating.