Brent crude held above $114 a barrel on Thursday due to potential supply disruption worries caused by violence in Iraq.

Reuters reported that Brent crude was up 41 cents at $114.67 a barrel, while US crude for July delivery increased 51 cents to $106.48 a barrel.

Oil prices steadied following the US Federal Reserve’s positive assessment of the country’s economy and accommodative monetary policy.

US crude eased on Wednesday after data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicated that domestic crude inventories decreased 579,000 barrels in the week ending 13 June.

"Sunni militants have reportedly taken control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery, situated in Baiji."

The figure was lower than the drawdown of 5.7 million barrels reported by American Petroleum Institute (API).

Reuters said its poll of analysts had forecast a drawdown of 700,000 barrels and crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, increased by 247,000 barrels, the first rise at the oil storage hub after nine weeks of consecutive drawdowns.

The news agency reported that concerns arose over Iraq’s ability to increase oil production or even maintain current levels, after the head of state-run South Oil Company Dhiya Jaffar said Exxon Mobil had carried out a major evacuation of its staff and BP had evacuated 20% of its staff.

Sunni militants have reportedly taken control of Iraq’s largest oil refinery, situated in Baiji.

Energy