* Libya restarts 340,000-bpd El Sharara oilfield
* Iraq parliament to meet Sunday
* Coming up: EIA weekly oil inventory data at 1430 GMT
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE, July 9 Brent crude fell below $109 a
barrel on Wednesday as Libya restarted an oilfield, on track to
drop for an eighth session in what would be its longest losing
streak in over four years.
Easing worries over possible disruptions to supply from the
conflict in Iraq also dragged on prices.
August Brent crude had declined 12 cents to $108.82
a barrel by 0318 GMT, down nearly 6 percent from a nine-month
high reached in June.
U.S. crude for August delivery was up 3 cents at
$103.43 a barrel, after Tuesday's settlement marked its longest
losing run since December 2009.
The price spread between the two benchmarks CL-LCO1=R is
the narrowest in nearly a month.
"Oil prices continued their precipitous fall as supply
concerns eased further and a lack of positive economic data gave
ammunition for new shorts to enter the market," ANZ analysts
said in a note.
Libya restarted the 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) El Sharara
oilfield after protesters ended a four-month strike, state-run
National Oil Corp (NOC) said on Tuesday, a move that could
double its current meagre crude output.
The government took over the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil
ports last week, ending an almost year-long occupation that
reduced Libya's output to less than a quarter of the 1.4 million
bpd the OPEC member used to pump before protests started last
"Libya will start to produce more and we can expect half a
million more (barrels per day of crude) to come out of the
state," said Jonathan Barratt, chief investment officer at Ayers
Alliance Securities in Sydney.
"There's no reason for the crude price to be up at these
levels. After all, economies in Europe and China are slowing."
Meanwhile, Iraq's new parliament has brought forward the
date of its next session to July 13, in the face of a militant
insurgency that has swept large parts of the country.
Investors are eyeing more data on oil inventories in the
United States and on China's trade later this week to take the
pulse on oil demand at the world's two largest consumers.
Lingering weakness in the Chinese economy could prompt
Beijing to launch further stimulus measures to shore up growth
which could lift its fuel demand.
Data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute on
Tuesday showed that U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.7 million
barrels in the week to July 4, compared with analyst
expectations for a decrease of 2.2 million barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release
weekly data later on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Theodora D'Cruz; Editing by Joseph