By Stephanie Kelly
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices rose about 1 percent on Friday as strike actions in Norway and Iraq hit supplies, but futures were set for a second straight week of decline after Libyan ports reopened and on the view that Iran might still export some crude despite U.S. sanctions.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude
The market pared gains late in the session on a Bloomberg report that the Trump administration is actively considering tapping in to the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which would add supply to the market. The United States holds a reserve of about 660 million barrels, enough for about three or four months of supply.
"People have been talking about that as a rumour," said Robert Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. "This is nothing different than anything that's been said in the last weeks here."
Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, closing Shell's
In Iraq, about 100 protesters demanding jobs and better services closed access to Umm Qasr commodities port near the southern city of Basra on Friday, port employees said.
"Persistently declining oil supplies from Venezuela and simmering strike actions in Norway and Iraq are prompting bullish sentiment," said Abhishek Kumar, senior energy analyst at Interfax Energy in London.
Prices weakened earlier in the week after OPEC member Libya reopened major eastern oil ports and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would consider granting waivers to some of Iran's crude buyers.
Fears that a U.S.-China trade dispute could hit global economic growth have also kept buyers on the back foot.
Russia and other leading oil producers may boost oil output further if supply shortages hit the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said. In June, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other key producers including Russia responded to market tightness by easing a supply-cut agreement.
China's crude oil imports fell for a second month in a row in June to their lowest level since December, as shrinking margins and volatile oil prices led some independent refiners to scale back purchases.
The U.S. oil rig count remained steady at 863 this week, General Electric Co's
Hedge funds and other money managers raised their combined futures and options position in New York and London by 847 contracts to 457,718 during the week ended July 10, the highest since April 24, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
(Reporting by Stephanie Kelly in New York, Aaron Sheldrick in Tokyo and Dmitry Zhdannikov in London; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Matthew Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
Updated Date: Jul 14, 2018 03:05 AM