Oil prices up in Asian trade
Singapore: Oil prices edged higher in quiet Asian trade on Tuesday as dealers hunted bargains while keeping an eye on a supply glut in the United States, analysts said.
New York's main contract West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for December delivery gained four cents to USD 94.66 a barrel in mid-morning Asian trade, while Brent North Sea crude for December climbed nine cents to USD 106.32.
"Prices are relatively muted," Teoh Say Hwa, head of investment at Phillip Futures in Singapore, told AFP.
"The minimal movement could be due to investors staying on the sidelines before the release of the weekly EIA (Energy Information Administration) report which would give them more directions relating to the US stockpiles," she said.
Crude inventories in the United States have climbed for the past six weeks, to about 28 million barrels, raising concerns about oversupply in the world's largest economy and top crude consumer.
WTI is trading below the USD 95 threshold after falling for four consecutive sessions last week under pressure from the build up in crude stockpiles, before rising slightly on yesterday.
The EIA will release its weekly inventory report tomorrow.
Libyan oil production levels also remain in focus, analysts said. The Libyan state oil company yesterday said that protesters had maintained their blockade of the main oil facilities in the country, where production has fallen 80 per cent since July.
Mohamed al-Harairi, an official at the National Oil Corporation, told AFP exports from Al-Hariga terminal in eastern Libya, which the government had said would resume by Monday, had not gone ahead for logistical reasons.
Protesters demanding jobs have been blocking terminals since late July, causing around USD 13 billion in losses to Libya's oil-dependent economy, authorities say.
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