Oil up as robust China trade data offsets returning supply

From Ahmad Ghaddar
LONDON (Reuters) - Oil prices rebounded Tuesday as robust data from China offset returning supply in Norway, the Gulf of Mexico and Libya.
Brent crude oil futures rose 63 cents, or 1.5%, to $ 42.35 a barrel by 1224 GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures rose 71 cents, or 1.8%, to $ 40.14 a barrel.
China, the world's largest crude oil importer, absorbed 11.8 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in September, up 5.5% from August and 17.5% year over year, customs data showed.
"At the moment, oil demand is mainly driven by China," said Commerzbank.
The International Energy Agency (IEA), which advises Western governments on energy policy issues, said in its World Energy Outlook that a vaccine and therapeutics in its key scenario could mean the world economy recovers in 2021 and energy needs recovers by 2023 .
However, a "delayed recovery scenario" states that the recovery in energy demand will be pushed back to 2025.
"The era of global growth in oil demand will come to an end in the next 10 years, but since government policy is not changing much, I see no clear sign of a climax," IEA chief Fatih Birol told Reuters.
In the UK and the Czech Republic, lockdown measures have been tightened to tackle the increasing cases of COVID-19 and French Prime Minister Jean Castex said he couldn't rule out local lockdowns.
On the supply side, workers have returned to the platforms of the US Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Delta and Norwegian workers after a strike ended.
OPEC member Libya also lifted force majeure on its oil field in Sharara on Sunday.
Total Libya production on Monday should reach 355,000 bpd, while a full return of the Sharara field at 300,000 bpd would almost double that.

(Additional reporting by Sonali Paul and Shu Zhang; editing by Susan Fenton and Jason Neely)

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