Oil prices mixed ahead of Libya`s return to market
New York: Oil prices traded mixed Friday as Libya was expected to begin exporting more crude into a market already flush with supply.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate crude for January delivery fell 90 cents to $96.60 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for January finished 16 cents higher at $108.83.
Traders were waiting to see if a Libyan tribe leader`s pledge to open up its crude terminals on December 15 would hold up, after his followers kept a blockade on the installations for months.
The protests and blockades of fuel deliveries by the Berber minority slashed Libya`s output to about 250,000 barrels per day, from normal levels of nearly 1.5 million barrels per day.
Libya`s light crude is valued in European refineries.
Andy Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates said the US hitting its highest level of production in 25 years, with more gains predicted for next year, was also keeping downward pressure on prices.
The US Energy Information Administration said that American crude output had reached 8.075 million barrels per day, and would rise to an average of 8.5 million barrels per day next year.