The U.S. ordered an aircraft carrier to head into the Arabian Gulf as President Barack Obama weighs options on how to aid Iraq’s Shiite-led government in its fight against Sunni militants threatening to re-ignite sectarian conflict in OPEC’s second-largest oil producer.
Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world’s largest crude exporter, raised differentials used in determining its official selling prices for all crude grades to customers in the U.S. by 80 cents a barrel each and increased levels for its two lightest blends to buyers in Asia for June.
An oil tanker started loading crude at Libya’s eastern port of Hariga as the region exports oil for the first time since July after civil unrest decimated the North African country’s production and shipments.
Libya’s Arabian Gulf Oil Co.’s oil production will rise to its normal level of 400,000 barrels a day by the end of next month from 305,000 barrels a day, the state-run National Oil Corp. said on its website.
Libyan rebels surrendered control of two oil ports to the government, potentially enabling the OPEC member to triple crude exports this month with an increase of at least 180,000 barrels a day. Brent futures dropped.
West Texas Intermediate crude slipped from near its highest closing level in two months and Brent declined for the first time in four days, amid trading volumes that were about half their average level.