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WTI Oil Above $102 Before Supply Report as Brent Rises on Libya

April 9 (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate crude traded above $102 a barrel before a government report that will probably show inventories at Cushing, Oklahoma, shrank for a 10th week. Brent rose on concern that the return of Libyan exports may be delayed.

Futures in New York were little changed near a one-month high. The Energy Information Administration reported last week that supplies at WTI futures’ delivery point declined 14.6 million barrels, or 35 percent, in the nine weeks to March 28. The Libyan ports of Zueitina and Hariga, returned by rebels to the government earlier this week, will remain subject to force majeure until at least April 13, a member of parliament said.

“If we do get a decline at Cushing, that definitely will support the market,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at the Price Futures Group in Chicago. “Libya is a moving target. The news about the ports should help Brent.”

WTI for May delivery increased 8 cents to $102.64 a barrel at 9:28 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract climbed $2.12 to $102.56 yesterday, the highest close since March 7. The volume of all futures traded was about 9.8 percent above the 100-day average.

Brent for May settlement advanced 25 cents to $107.92 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Volume was 13 percent above the 100-day average. The European benchmark grade was at a premium of $5.28 to WTI. The spread closed at $5.11 yesterday, the narrowest since Oct. 2.

Keystone XL

Cushing stockpiles have fallen since the southern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline began moving oil in January to the Texas Gulf Coast from Cushing. The EIA, the Energy Department’s statistical arm, may also report that total U.S. crude supplies rose 750,000 barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts.

The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that U.S. crude inventories rose 7.08 million barrels last week as imports jumped. Cushing gained 204,000 barrels, according to the API.

Libya’s self-declared Executive Office for Barqa turned over the Hariga and Zueitina terminals earlier this week after reaching an agreement with the government. The Libyan parliament will meet on April 13 to discuss the deal.

“Force majeure won’t be lifted on Zueitina, Hariga before the parliament approves the agreement,” Sliman Qajam, the parliament’s energy committee member, said. “It is possible that the agreement may not be approved at all.”

Force majeure is a legal clause that protects a company from liability when it can’t fulfill a contract for reasons beyond its control.

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