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Oil prices mixed on supply factors

Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday as traders tracked the supply outlook amid unrest in Libya, the Ukraine-Russia crisis and on the eve of US inventory data.

WASHINGTON: Oil prices were mixed on Tuesday as traders tracked the supply outlook amid unrest in Libya, the Ukraine-Russia crisis and on the eve of US inventory data.

The US benchmark, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in June, dipped 17 cents to $102.44 a barrel ahead of the release of US energy stockpiles data.

Brent North Sea crude for July gained 32 cents to stand at $109.69 a barrel in London trade.

"Further unrest in Libya is the main factor in the oil market at the moment," David Lennox, resource analyst at Fat Prophets, told AFP.

Concern rose over possible civil war in the country, normally a key exporter of valuable light crude to Europe, as a renegade general led a revolt against the government and hard-line Islamists.

Elsewhere, Russia, Ukraine and the EU plan to meet next week for talks to resolve a gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Monday.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has warned Kiev it could suspend its gas deliveries on June 3 if the former Soviet republic does not settle by then its bill for June, worth $1.66 billion (1.21 billion euros).

Moscow has started demanding pre-payments for gas shipments to Ukraine under new rules introduced in response to the Ukraine crisis.

This threat has raised concern in the European Union, which imports a quarter of its gas from Russia, nearly half of which flows via Ukraine.

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