The price of Brent crude oil held above $60 a barrel as a result of failure to reach a deal in negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme.

Reuters reported that the April contract grew eight cents to $60.63 a barrel, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude increased 24 cents to $51.77.

Tehran’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said no deal had been reached on the duration of any possible final agreement with world powers on Iran’s programme.

"The rate of stock build has accelerated week by week throughout February, and with upcoming refinery maintenance likely to weaken demand for crude, it is possible that this will continue in March."

Data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed that commercial crude stockpiles in the US increased 10.3 million barrels last week.

Crude oil inventory data for the week ending 20 February revealed that total utilisation of crude oil storage capacity in the US stands at about 60%, compared to 48% for the same period in last year.

BNP Paribas analysts were quoted by the news agency as saying: "The rate of stock build has accelerated week by week throughout February, and with upcoming refinery maintenance likely to weaken demand for crude, it is possible that this will continue in March."

Libya has declared force majeure on 11 of its oilfields on Wednesday. The country produced over 400,000 barrels per day on 1 March.