Oil prices extended losses Thursday as the outlook for supply remained robust.
Benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 36 cents to $101.93 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract fell $1.11 to close at $102.29 on Wednesday.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, inched down 1 cent to $108.46 on the ICE exchange in London.
Oil has been falling steadily for more than a week partly because worries about disruptions of the oil supply from Iraq have subsided and Libyan oil is returning to the global market. Oil hit a 10-month closing high of $107.26 on June 20.
Labor and political strife has shut ports and disrupted production in Libya but agreements with local militias are now expected to open two ports. A major field restarted production Tuesday. Analysts said crude shipments could ramp up very quickly because oil has accumulated in tanks at the closed ports.
On Wednesday, government data showed that a fall in U.S. oil supply was smaller than expected. The U.S. Energy Department reported that U.S. crude oil supplies fell by 2.4 million barrels last week. Analysts expected a 3 million barrel decline. The department had revised up its estimate for U.S. crude production for this year and next year.
In other energy futures trading:
- Wholesale gasoline inched up 0.3 cent to $2.935 a gallon.
- Natural gas rose 0.3 cent to $4.173 per 1,000 cubic feet.
- Heating oil added 0.7 cent to $2.872 a gallon.