West Texas Intermediate headed for a weekly gain after the International Energy Agency said OPEC will need to pump more crude this year. The discount to Brent shrank after Libya signaled it’s ready to boost exports.
Futures were little changed in New York, poised to rise 2.1 percent this week. Brent’s premium to WTI earlier narrowed the least since September as Libya’s state-run National Oil Corp. lifted force majeure at its Hariga terminal after rebels handed it over to the government. OPEC’s 12 member nations, including Libya, will need to increase production in the second half of this year, according to the IEA.
“The return, or not, of Libya will be key,” Olivier Jakob, managing director of Switzerland-based researcher Petromatrix, said in a note.
WTI for May delivery was at $103.23 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 17 cents, at 12:42 p.m. London time. The volume of all futures traded was 11 percent above the 100-day average. Prices have advanced 4.9 percent this year.
Brent for May settlement dropped 24 cents to $107.22 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude was at a $4.07 premium to WTI.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will need to pump more crude in the second half of the year to meet demand after its production plunged to a five-month low in March, the IEA said.