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Oil prices lower amid supply gains

Oil prices slipped on Thursday helped by more abundant supplies thanks to high US production and the boost to exports in Libya.

NEW YORK: Oil prices slipped on Thursday helped by more abundant supplies thanks to high US production and the boost to exports in Libya.

In New York, West Texas Intermediate crude for June delivery gave up 32 cents at $99.42 a barrel, the lowest level since the end of March.

In London, the Brent North Sea benchmark for June fell 31 cents to $107.76 from Wednesday's close.

Bart Melek of TD Securities said the continued rise of US stockpiles, especially in the refining hub on the Gulf Of Mexico, was pressing prices lower.

On Wednesday the US Department of Energy's weekly estimate of crude oil stocks gained 1.7 million barrels to a record 339.4 million barrels.

"The market recognizes that physical oil supplies remain abundant," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

"The US market is certainly well-stocked, with April 25 crude oil inventories reaching a fresh 83-year high. Last week's builds in US product inventories add some weight to the overall bearish shift."

Downward pressure on prices was also coming from the expected resumption of oil exports from a key terminal in Libya, the Zueitina port that has been shut down by protests for months.

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