West Texas Intermediate rose for a second day as concern over the escalating crisis in Ukraine outweighed data showing the biggest expansion in U.S. crude stockpiles in more than a decade. Brent was steady in London.
Brent crude advanced as escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the world’s biggest energy exporter, offset the potential for increased Libyan supply. West Texas Intermediate traded between gains and losses.
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 fell for a second day amid estimates that U.S. crude supplies expanded for an 11th week. Brent slipped as maintenance at a North Sea export terminal and Chinese economic data spurred speculation Asian demand will slide.
West Texas Intermediate crude headed for a sixth weekly gain as freezing weather in the U.S. bolstered demand for heating fuels in the world’s biggest oil consumer. Brent is also poised to advance for the week.