Oil prices slide on easing supply strains
World oil prices dropped on Thursday on fading fears that conflicts in crude producers Libya and Iraq would result in a major supply disruption, analysts said.
Brent North Sea crude for delivery in October shed 84 cents to stand at $101.44 a barrel in London afternoon deals.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for October dropped 64 cents to $92.81 a barrel compared with Wednesday's close.
"Supply fears stemming from conflicts in both Iraq and Ukraine have recently diminished," said Dorian Lucas, an analyst at energy consultancy Inenco.
"Supply fears have also been quelled by an increased export volume from Libya. Exports have resumed from Libya's largest port following the end of the year-long blockade."
Traders are closely tracking conflicts in crude producers Libya and Iraq, as well as in Ukraine, a key conduit for Russian gas exports to Europe, analysts said.
"Benchmark prices weakened further as there has been no disruptions in crude supply despite ongoing crises in Iraq and Libya," said Sanjeev Gupta, analyst at consultants EY.
Global oil prices had rebounded on Wednesday from the previous day's multi-month lows, as dealers digested signs of strengthening crude demand in top consumer the United States.
The US Department of Energy revealed that American crude oil stockpiles slumped 4.5 million barrels in the week ending August 15.
That was far heavier than expectations for a drop of 900,000 barrels, according to analysts.
© 2014 AFP