* U.S. crude stocks expected to hit record 400 million
* Events in Ukraine, Libya Iran watched
* Coming up: EIA weekly oil inventories; 1430 GMT
(Adds latest on Ukraine, Reuters oil poll, updates prices)
By Simon Falush
LONDON April 30 Oil fell towards $108 per barrel
on Wednesday, pressured by an improving supply outlook with
stocks in the United States expected to be at a record high and
prospects for higher exports from Libya.
Analysts polled by Reuters expect U.S. crude stocks to have
risen by 2.4 million barrels to 400 million barrels last week,
the highest level since the U.S. Energy Information
Administration started collecting data in 1982.
The EIA's weekly inventory data is due out at 1430 GMT.
Increasing supplies of crude from the United States and
OPEC are expected to keep oil prices weak this year, barring
further geopolitical shocks, a Reuters poll of analysts showed
Brent crude for June delivery was down 62 cents to
$108.36 per barrel at 1028 GMT after climbing 86 cents to
$108.98 in the previous session.
June U.S. crude was down 94 cents at $100.34 per
barrel, after falling as low as $100.10, heading for what could
be its lowest close in four weeks. A day earlier, U.S. crude
rose 44 cents to close at $101.28.
"Crude oil stocks in the U.S. are rising to their highest
level in decades and that's weighing on the whole crude
complex," said Bjarne Schieldrop, analyst at SEB in Oslo.
Schieldrop added that optimism about crude oil exports from
Libya after ports re-opened in the North African country was a
factor weighing on oil prices this week.
Libya's Zueitina oil port will load its first tanker of
crude on May 1-3 since reopening after being closed for nearly
10 months due to protests, trading and shipping sources said.
Libya lifted force majeure on Zueitina on Monday, paving the
way to restart exports from that eastern port as well.
"It's more to do with optimism about higher exports than
actual volume so far as Zueitina only has capacity to export
70,000 barrels per day," Schieldrop said.
Developments in Ukraine and its confrontation with Russia
were having a mixed impact on oil prices.
The threat of tighter sanctions limiting Russian exports has
led to some risk premium, but economic sanctions on Russia are
beginning to bite with the IMF saying that Russia is now
This will likely dent demand in one of the world's largest
energy consumers and enable it to export more, Schieldrop at SEB
Data from the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday also
painted a sturdy supply picture in the United States, as it
showed that oil inventories rose 3 million barrels last week,
higher than an increase of 2.4 million forecast by analysts.
EIA data, however, is the industry standard and more closely
Investors were also watching developments over Iran after
the U.S. targeted a Chinese businessman and a Dubai-based entity
for alleged offences related to violations of
Also, a decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve is due at
1800 GMT over whether to reduce its monthly bond purchases, a
move which some analysts say would put pressure on oil prices.
(Reporting by Simon Falush; editing by Jason Neely)