| SINGAPORE June 26
SINGAPORE June 26 Brent crude fell below $114 a
barrel on Thursday as most of Iraq's oil output remained
unaffected by the militant insurgency in the country, although
worries over the conflict kept a floor under prices.
Iraq's southern oilfields, which produce the majority of the
country's 3.3 million barrels a day, remained safe, said
Nickolay Mladenov, United Nations special envoy to Iraq.
But insurgents and Iraq government forces continued to fight
on Wednesday for control of Iraq's largest refinery, the 300,000
barrel per day Baiji complex, with troops being airlifted into
the site by helicopter.
"The southern part of Iraq has not been affected by any
insurgency," said Yusuke Seta, commodity sales manager at
Oil shipments from OPEC's No.2 exporter are likely to be
around 2.7 million barrels in June, Seta said, similar to last
"The $113-$114 level is a reasonable and comfortable range
(for Brent) at the moment."
Brent crude had slipped 13 cents to $113.87 by 0325
GMT, falling in the past four sessions after hitting a
nine-month high of $115.71 last Thursday.
U.S. crude rose 11 cents to $106.61 a barrel. It had
gained 47 cents to $106.50 in the previous session on news
Washington would allow exports of condensate, an ultra-light
oil, in a marginal relaxation of a 40-year ban on U.S. oil
"Talking to traders they are keeping a close eye on the U.S.
They need to know how much condensate will be available to Asia.
There is nothing concrete but exports could start as early as
August," said Seta.
Enterprise Products Partners, one of two companies that were
given Department of Commerce approval on Tuesday to export
condensate said on Wednesday it could start exporting any time.
U.S. crude inventories unexpectedly rose by 1.74 million
barrels last week to 388 million barrels, according to data from
the U.S. Department of Energy's Energy Information
Investors are also keeping an eye on the threat of further
sanctions on Russia by western powers if Moscow does not do more
to defuse the conflict between pro-Russian separatists and Kiev
in eastern Ukraine.
Meanwhile, two weeks of talks between Iran and six world
powers to reach a final agreement over Tehran's nuclear
programme will start in Vienna on July 2, Russia's ambassador to
the U.N. said on Wednesday.
(Editing by Joseph Radford)