Oil prices down on easing Middle East supply concerns
Oil prices eased in Asia Tuesday as dealers await the resumption of disrupted Libyan crude exports, while ebbing fears about fighting in major producer Iraq also weighed, analysts said.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for August delivery dipped 11 cents to $103.42 while Brent crude was down 19 cents at $110.05.
Singapore's United Overseas Bank said prices remained under pressure as "fears of supply disruptions out of Libya and Iraq abated".
Oil prices have tracked lower since Wednesday when Libya's interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said authorities had regained control of two export terminals blockaded by rebels.
The ports at Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra could add about 500,000 barrels of crude per day to global energy markets, analysts have said.
The sites are also thought to have up to 10 million barrels of oil in storage that could be released.
Easing concerns over a possible supply disruption in crisis-stricken Iraq are also dampening prices.
Islamist insurgents have overrun swathes of Iraq and are close to Baghdad following a lightning offensive since June 9, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and initially alarming global oil markets.
After nearly four weeks of fighting with government forces, however, the group has yet to directly threaten the key oil-producing region in the country's south.
Iraq is the second biggest producer in the 12-nation OPEC oil cartel, pumping 3.4 million barrels a day and possessing more than 11 percent of the world's proven reserves.