- POSTED: 11 Dec 2013 05:48
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Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with the US futures contract hitting a six-week high as traders bet that US crude oil supplies fell again last week, while Brent edged lower.
NEW YORK: Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday, with the US futures contract hitting a six-week high as traders bet that US crude oil supplies fell again last week, while Brent edged lower.
New York's main contract, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in January, finished at $98.51 a barrel, a gain of $1.17 from Monday's closing price.
In London trade, the European benchmark, Brent North Sea crude for January, shed one penny, settling at $109.38 a barrel.
Oil rebounded from losses Monday that left WTI slightly lower but Brent down more than two dollars, following news of weaker German industrial output.
John Kilduff of Again Capital said the market expected upcoming reports from the American Petroleum Institute and the US Department of Energy to show growing oil consumption.
US crude oil reserves increased by nearly 35 million barrels between mid-September and late November. But last week the DoE's weekly report showed a fall of 5.6 million barrels, and experts anticipate it will report on Wednesday another decrease.
"We expect a significant drawdown," Kilduff said.
The WTI price also is being supported by the looming start of oil flows through the south leg of the Keystone pipeline, connecting the Cushing, Oklahoma crude hub with refineries along the US Gulf Coast.
That portion of the pipeline will open officially on January 3.
Matt Smith of Schneider Electric said that oil prices also were bolstered Tuesday by encouraging industrial production data in China.
On Tuesday, the OPEC oil cartel stuck to its forecast that 2014 global oil demand would grow at a faster rate than in 2013 thanks to accelerating world economic growth.
Average 2014 demand would be 98.84 million barrels per day, up 1.04 million bpd from 2013, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said in its December report.
In OPEC member Libya, a months-long blockade by armed protesters of vital oil terminals will be lifted on December 15, a tribal chief announced Tuesday.
The protests as well as blockades of fuel deliveries by the Berber minority have slashed Libya's oil output to about 250,000 bpd from normal levels of nearly 1.5 million bpd.