A 5.4-magnitude earthquake jolted South of the Fiji Islands at 19:07:44 GMT on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
The epicenter, with a depth of 485.58 km, was initially determined to be at 25.4544 degrees south latitude and 179.8979 degrees east longitude.
Oil rises after OPEC warn members to stick to quotas
Oil prices rose for a fourth day in a row on Friday, putting crude on track for a weekly gain of about 10 per cent, after Saudi Arabia pressed allies to stick to production quotas and banks, including Goldman Sachs, predicted a supply deficit.
Brent crude was up 18 cents at $43.48 a barrel by 0756 GMT while United States oil futures rose 17 cents to $41.14.
Both contracts are set for their strongest weekly gains since early June after Hurricane Sally cut United States production while OPEC and its allies laid out steps to address market weakness.
Goldman Sachs predicted the market would be in a deficit of three million barrels per day (bpd) by the fourth quarter and reiterated its target for Brent to reach $49 by the end of the year and $65 by the third quarter of 2021.
Swiss bank UBS also pointed to the possibility of undersupply in the oil market, forecasting Brent would rise to $45 a barrel in the fourth quarter and $55 by mid-2021.
Meanwhile, a tropical depression in the western part of the Gulf of Mexico could become a hurricane in the next few days, potentially threatening more United States oil facilities.
The Saudi Arabian energy minister said those who gamble on oil prices would be hurt “like hell”.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers in OPEC+ are cutting 7.7 million bpd of output and the group stressed at a meeting on Thursday that it would take action against members not complying with the deal.
In the Gulf of Mexico, United States offshore drillers and exporters began a clear-up on Thursday after Hurricane Sally weakened to a depression and started rebooting idle rigs following their closure for five days.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
Oil jumps above $41 as storm hits United States output, inventories drop
Oil rose for a second day on Wednesday, gaining more than two per cent, as a hurricane closed United States offshore production and an industry report showed United States crude inventories unexpectedly decreased.
More than a quarter of United States offshore output was shut on Tuesday due to Hurricane Sally.
The American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday said crude inventories fell 9.5 million barrels, rather than increased as analysts expected.
Brent crude rose 86 cents or 2.1 per cent to $41.39 a barrel by 1012 GMT, while United States crude added 85 cents or 2.2 per cent to $39.13.
Both contracts rose by more than two per cent on Tuesday.
“Overnight, the APE provided a further injection of bullish impetus,’’ said Stephen Greenock of oil broker P.M.
“As much as a feel-good factor appears to have returned to the oil market, underlying fundamentals remain far from supportive.’’
The storm-related shutdowns may help reduce the stockpile, although refineries were also closed, cutting demand.
“Oil prices were lent further support by the APE and the weather,’’ said Commerzbank analyst, Eugene Weinberg.
“Despite an unfavourable fundamental and technical backdrop.’’
Oil prices collapsed to historic lows as the coronavirus crisis hit demand.
Prices have dropped in September, pressured by rising virus cases and concerns about demand.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and International Energy Agency have both cut their demand outlooks this week.
A panel of OPEC+ oil ministers meets to review the supply pact on Thursday and is unlikely to recommend further output curbs despite the price drop, sources told Reuters.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde
China puts 9 satellites into orbit from ship
China has successfully launched a group of nine high-resolution Earth remote sensing satellites of the Jilin-1 Gaofen-03-1 constellation, into orbit using the Long March-11 carrier rocket, an official said.
The China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) said this on Tuesday in Beijing.
Earlier in September, the Jilin-1 Gaofen 02C remote-sensing satellite on board a Chinese-made Kuaizhou-1A carrier rocket failed to enter orbit after launch.
An investigation has begun to identify the cause of the failure.
The group of nine satellites includes three video satellites and six remote sensing scanners.
About thirteen minutes later, after travelling 535 kilometers, it has deployed nine Jilin 1 high-resolution Earth-observation satellites, three to take videos and six to take photographs in sun-synchronous orbits, the report said.
Each of the satellites, developed by Changguang Satellite Technology in Changchun, Jilin province, weighs about 42 kgs.
They will provide remote-sensing services to users in fields such as agriculture, forestry, land resources and environmental protection, the report said.
Edited By: Fatima Sule/Emmanuel Yashim
Oil moves higher as storm threatens United States Gulf Coast
Oil prices rose on Monday as a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico prompted drillers to evacuate rigs and shut-in production.
Although gains were muted by concerns about excess global supplies and falling fuel demand.
Brent crude was six cents or 0.2 per cent higher at $39.89 a barrel.
Both contracts ended last week lower, falling for a second week in a row.
Tropical Storm Sally gained in strength in the Gulf of Mexico west of Florida on Sunday and was poised to become a category 2 hurricane.
The storm is disrupting oil production for the second time in less than a month after hurricane Laura swept through the region.
Typically oil rises when production is shut down, but with the coronavirus pandemic getting worse demand concerns are to the fore, while global supplies continue to rise.
The United States is the world’s biggest oil consumer and producer.
In Libya, Commander Khalifa Haftar committed to ending a months-long blockade of oil facilities, a move that would add more supplies to the market, although it was unclear if oil fields and ports would begin operations.
The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, meets on Sept. 17 to discuss compliance with deep cuts in production, although analysts don’t expect further reductions to be made.
“Given the more recent sell-off in the market, there will likely be more pressure on certain producers to improve their compliance,’’ ING Economics said in a note.
BP Plc and Equinor ASA evacuated staff from some offshore platforms on Sunday after similar moves by Chevron Corp and Murphy Oil Corp the day before.
Also supporting prices, drillers cut the number of oil and gas rigs for the first time in four weeks last week.
Demand globally for oil used in the transport sectors is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until the fourth quarter of next year, Vitol’s Chief Executive Officer, Russell Hardy, said on Monday at the virtual Asia Pacific Petroleum Conference.
The forecast excluded jet fuel.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde