Oil held gains after rising to the highest in more than four months in London as ongoing tensions in Libya added to concerns over supply.
Brent futures added as much as 0.7 percent, approaching $71 a barrel. Libya’s internationally-recognized government vowed to counterattack against forces loyal to strongman Khalifa Haftar which are trying to enter the capital Tripoli. Saudi Arabian Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih also said in a Bloomberg TV interview that the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which is cutting output, remains focused on bringing down inventories.
Crude prices have continued to climb after their strongest quarter in almost a decade as OPEC and its allies curb output while economic and political crises squeeze supplies from member nations Venezuela and Iran. An escalation of the conflict in Libya, which pumped 1.1 million barrels of crude a day last month, risks creating a supply shortfall.
Brent for June settlement advanced as much as 0.7 percent to $70.86 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the highest since Nov. 12. The contract added 1.4 percent to $70.34 on Friday, taking its weekly gain to 2.9 percent. The global benchmark crude was at a premium of $7.28 to WTI for the same month.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rose 35 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $63.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange as of 11:48 a.m. in London. Prices rose 1.6 percent to settle at $63.08 on Friday, the highest closing level since Nov. 5.
Source : Bloomberg