Oil traded near the highest close in more than two years before U.S. government data forecast to show stockpiles extended declines for a seventh week and as political unrest continued in OPEC’s third-biggest producer.
Futures were little changed in New York near $60 a barrel after easing 5 cents on Tuesday. Inventories probably fell by 5 million barrels last week, according to a survey before an Energy Information Administration report Thursday. Exports from Iran remain unaffected by the turmoil that has spread across the country, Bloomberg tanker tracking shows.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery was at $60.44 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 7 cents, at 7:28 a.m. in Hong Kong. Total volume traded was about 85 percent below the 100-day average. Prices closed at $60.42 on Friday, the highest level since June 2015.
Brent for March settlement lost 30 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $66.57 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday. The global benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $6.19 to March WTI.