Brent crude oil traded around $108 a barrel today as ample supplies and political tensions in the Middle East, Africa and Europe offset each other.

Reuters reported that Brent crude dropped five cents to $107.62 a barrel, while US crude increased 49 cents to $101.46 a barrel.

The European Union (EU) and the US have imposed further sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the ongoing fighting in Libya, Iraq and Israel has also supported oil prices.

"Meanwhile, the ongoing fighting in Libya, Iraq and Israel has also supported oil prices."

The crude oil output was about 500,000bpd in Libya and the country’s oilfields were secure, despite the ongoing violence in the eastern city of Benghazi, which holds the majority of oil ports.

Reuters reported that US crude fell on Tuesday following a fire at a unit that upgrades gasoline at CVR Refining’s 115,000bpd refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, a major consumer of West Texas Intermediate crude.

Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) revealed that crude inventories declined by 4.4 million barrels to 369.4 million in the week ending 25 July, compared with analysts’ expectations of a 1.5 million barrel decline.

The US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due to release its own weekly data on petroleum stockpiles later on Wednesday.

Investors are also awaiting the Federal Reserve’s policy statement for price direction due to be unveiled later on Wednesday, as well as key jobs data on Friday.

Defence Technology