Brent crude traded above $114 a barrel today, over continued uncertainty about oil production in Iraq.

Reuters reported that Brent crude for August delivery had fallen 17 cents to $114.29, while US crude climbed 67 cents to $106.70.

Sunni insurgents are battling with Iraq Government forces to take control of the country’s biggest refinery, Baiji, which currently produces 300,000bpd.

"A Reuters poll of analysts said crude oil stocks are estimated to have decreased 1.6 million barrels on average."

The militants used machine-gun fire and mortars to attack the facility, which if closed will force Baghdad to import additional oil products in order to meet its own domestic consumption.

A US Commerce Department spokesman confirmed to Reuters that officials have told energy companies to export a variety of condensate if it has been minimally refined and there had been no change in policy towards crude oil exports.

The US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) inventory data for the week ending 20 June, which is due for release later today, is expected to show a decline in US commercial crude oil inventories as refineries increased output.

A Reuters poll of analysts said crude oil stocks are estimated to have decreased 1.6 million barrels on average.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) secretary general Abdullah al-Badri said that there was no shortage of oil in the market and the high Brent price is caused by market nervousness over violence in Iraq.

Energy