* Brent posts biggest loss in July since April 2013
* WTI falls 6.8 percent in July, worst month since May 2012
* Brent-WTI widens to near $8/bbl
* Major WTI consumer shuts refinery for four weeks
By Florence Tan
SINGAPORE, Aug 1 Brent crude held near $106 a
barrel on Friday as ample supply continued to drag on prices a
day after the benchmark posted its worst monthly performance
since April 2013.
Analysts expect global production to exceed demand this
year, while a supply glut has built up in Africa and Europe.
Brent crude was flat at $106.02 a barrel by 0322 GMT
after a 5.6 percent drop in prices last month.
U.S. crude futures for September delivery fell 13
cents to $98.04 a barrel, following a 6.8 percent decline last
month, the biggest monthly loss since May 2012.
"Suddenly, people wake up and realise that even with the
geopolitical risks in the world there is this surplus of
physical crude," said Tony Nunan, a senior risk manager at
Still, Brent's forward prices have risen substantially on
worries about longer term oil output in Iraq and Libya, he said.
OPEC's second largest producer Iraq is battling an Islamic
insurgency in the north. The conflict threatens to split the
country, but has yet to have an impact on near-record oil
exports from the south.
Baghdad is also embroiled in a dispute with Iraqi Kurdistan
over oil exports via Turkey.
Production at another OPEC producer Libya remained way below
the more than 1 million bpd that it was pumping in 2012 before
protests curbed output and exports.
Given the overall supply situation, normally there would be
a steeper fall in oil prices, Nunan said. "But the reason we're
not is because OPEC has so many geopolitical issues."
Energy investments in Russia also faced delays after
sanctions imposed by the United States and European Union
limited access to funds.
The spread between Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI)
CL-LCO1=R has stretched to near $8 a barrel on closure of a
refinery that is a major consumer of WTI crude.
CVR Refining said on Thursday that its
115,000-barrel-per-day Coffeyville, Kansas, refinery, could be
down four weeks after a July 29 fire in the facility's
(Reporting by Florence Tan; Editing by Tom Hogue)