Brent crude oil traded above $112 a barrel on Wednesday, amid worries over Iraq oil production and signs that Libyan rebels may reopen two oil terminals.
Reuters reported that Brent was down ten cents to $112.19 a barrel, while US light crude oil rose five cents to $105.39 a barrel.
The news agency noted that the North Sea crude oil benchmark hit a nine-month intraday high of $115.71 two weeks ago, amid concerns that a Sunni Islamist insurgency in northern Iraq may hit the country’s oil output and exports.
Prices have slipped back steadily since then as the oil facilities, mostly in southern Iraq, have continued to operate despite the conflict.
A survey by Reuters found that Iraq pumped three million barrels per day in June 2014.
The country’s southern oil exports recently reached approximately 2.6 million barrels per day and are expected to increase further.
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Rebels in Libya have agreed to reopen the remaining two terminals at Es Sider and Ras Lanuf, which is expected to restore approximately 500,000bpd of crude oil export capacity.
Meanwhile, data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) revealed that US crude stocks declined by 876,000 barrels in the week ending 27 June to 381.7 million, compared with expectations for a 2.2 million barrel decrease.
Gasoline stocks declined by 407,000 barrels, compared with estimations of a 400,000 barrel increase.
Investors are waiting for official data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) on the country’s demand outlook.