UPDATE 9-Oil near flat; virus impact offsets Libya supply disruptions

Reuters

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    * Equities slip after Apple sales warning
    * Russia confirms OPEC+ meeting expected on March 6
    * Libya's NOC oil production at 135,745 bpd as of Monday

 (New throughout, updates prices, market activity and comments)
    By Stephanie Kelly
    NEW YORK, Feb 18 (Reuters) - Oil prices were near flat on
Tuesday, pressured by concerns over the impact on crude demand
from the coronavirus outbreak in China, but prices drew support
from a reduction in supply from Libya.
    Brent crude  LCOc1  rose 8 cents to settle at $57.75 a
barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude  CLc1  futures
were unchanged from the previous session, settling at $52.05 a
barrel.
    Though new cases of the coronavirus in mainland China have
dipped, global experts said it was too early to judge if the
outbreak is being contained. Forecasters including the
International Energy Agency (IEA) have cut 2020 oil demand
estimates because of the virus.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2AH4G7
    The virus is having a wider impact on financial markets.
Asian shares fell and Wall Street also retreated after Apple Inc
 AAPL.O  said it would miss quarterly revenue guidance due to
slower iPhone production and weakened demand in China.
    The IEA last week said first-quarter oil demand was likely
to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) from a year ago.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2AD3BT 
    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)
and allied producers including Russia have been considering
further production cuts to support prices.
    The group, known as OPEC+, has a pact to cut oil output by
1.7 million bpd until the end of March. 
    OPEC+ oil ministers will meet in Vienna on March 6 as
initially planned, a senior Russian energy ministry official
said on Tuesday. The group will consider an advisory panel's
recommendation to cut supply by a further 600,000 bpd.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2AI4XF
    OPEC has been trying to persuade Russia on the deeper cuts.
Moscow has said it will disclose its stance in the coming days.
    "Risk aversion has returned to the markets," said
Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch. "OPEC+ has shown no sign
yet of reacting to the virus-related slump in demand by making
additional production cuts."
    Supporting prices, oil output in Libya has collapsed since
Jan. 18 because of a blockade of ports and oilfields.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2AH4OF
    "Supportive fundamental influences are still being seen in a
continued loss of... Libyan supply availability," Jim
Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates, said in a
note.
    Elsewhere, Saudi Arabia's crude stockpiles fell by 11.8
million barrels in December, despite steady shipments by the
world's biggest oil exporter, official data showed.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL8N2AI1O8
    Meanwhile, U.S. shale oil output is expected to rise by
about 18,000 barrels per day (bpd) in March to a record 9.18
million bpd, driven by gains in the Permian Basin, data from the
U.S. Energy Information Administration showed Tuesday.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2AI129

 (Additional reporting by Alex Lawler in London and Jessica
Jaganathan in Singapore; Editing by Barbara Lewis, David Goodman
and David Gregorio)
 ((Stephanie.Kelly@thomsonreuters.com; 646-223-4471; Reuters
Messaging: stephanie.kelly.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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