Oil slipped in London after briefly climbing above $70 a barrel for the first time in three years as a global surplus recedes.
Brent futures declined 0.6 percent, having added 1.8 percent this week in a fourth weekly increase. The longest sequence of declines in U.S. crude stockpiles during winter in a decade -- a result of rising demand and OPEC’s output cuts -- was a key driver of the rally. Prices may have peaked for now, according to Stockholm-based bank SEB AB.
Brent for March settlement lost 38 cents to $68.88 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:49 p.m., after rising 6 cents on Thursday. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $5.72 to March West Texas Intermediate.
WTI for February delivery was at $63.20 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 60 cents. Total volume traded was about 11 percent above the100-day average. Prices are up 2.9 percent this week. WTI gained 23 cents to $63.80 on Thursday, the highest close since December 2014.