Brent crude fell for the third time in four days as Iraq pledged to increase output and exports. West Texas Intermediate traded near $106 a barrel amid speculation that an Obama administration ruling on U.S. fuel exports will have a limited impact on markets.
Iraqi production has been unaffected by fighting with militants and the country plans to increase crude exports next month from about 2.5 million barrels a day in June, Oil Minister Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi said in an interview in Baghdad. The U.S. Commerce Department granted Pioneer Natural Resources Co.’s request to classify stabilized condensates as fuel eligible for export, the company said. WTI surged as much as 1.4 percent before retreating.
“The geopolitical situation isn’t improving but the Iraqis are continuing to pump oil and say they intend to increase shipments,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “WTI is showing some strength on the potential for exports of U.S. oil. This could bring the spread in a bit.”
Brent for August settlement declined 99 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $113.47 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 9:27 a.m. New York time. The volume of all futures traded was 44 percent higher than the 100-day average. Brent has climbed 2.4 percent this year.