* Nigerian militants say attack Shell oil platform
* IEA cuts sharply medium-term forecast of oil demand
* EIA revises U.S. April oil demand higher
(Updates prices at settlement)
By Edward McAllister
NEW YORK, June 29 Oil prices rose more than 3
percent on Monday, lifted by word of fresh rebel attacks on oil
installations in Nigeria and gains in equity markets.
U.S. crude CLc1 settled up $2.33 at $71.47. London Brent
crude LCOc1 settled up $2.07 at $70.99.
Nigeria's main militant group said its fighters had
attacked an oil facility belonging to Royal Dutch Shell
(RDSa.L) in the Niger Delta on Monday, days after President
Umaru Yar'Adua proposed an amnesty. [ID:nLT318433]
Further support came as signs of life in overseas markets
renewed investor optimism about the prospects for an economic
"Anytime that we see the Dow Jones higher, the funds take
that as a sign that the economy is going to strengthen and that
oil demand will strengthen along with that," said Peter Beutel,
president of Cameron Hanover in New Canaan, Connecticut.
Signs of a turnaround in the global economy have helped
lift crude prices up from below $40 a barrel in February. The
economic crisis has battered global fuel demand, knocking crude
off record highs set above $147 a barrel last year.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration revised up its
April U.S. oil demand estimate by 1.18 percent, though the data
showed consumption was still 6.56 percent lower than a year
The data came after an International Energy Agency mid-term
oil forecast which said that there was a chance of an extended
economic contraction and that the threat of a supply crunch had
only receded, not gone away. [ID:nLT674055]
No. 2 oil consumer China, meanwhile, unexpectedly increased
gasoline and diesel prices on Monday by nearly 9 percent and 10
percent respectively. [ID:nPEK4425]
Crude was bolstered by militant activity in Nigeria as
fighters forced production outages in the West African country.
Ongoing attacks in the OPEC nation have shut about 1.26
million bpd of oil production, with current output now around
1.74 million bpd, according to government figures.
Qatar's oil minister Abdullah al Attiyah said that he does
not see any need for OPEC to increase output when it meets in
OPEC has already targeted cutting 4.2 million barrels from
September levels to help support prices.
Algerian Energy and Mines Minister Chakib Khelil said that
an increase in OPEC oil production was hard to envisage,
despite rising crude prices. [ID:nLT299490]
A Reuters poll of analysts ahead of weekly inventory data
forecast U.S. crude stockpiles fell by 1.6 million barrels last
week, while gasoline stocks were seen up 2 million barrels and
distillate stocks rose 1.5 million barrels. [EIA/S]
The American Petroleum Institute will release its weekly
U.S. inventory on Tuesday, while the U.S. Energy Information
Administration report is due out on Wednesday.
(Additional reporting by Matthew Robinson, Gene Ramos and
Robert Gibbons in New York and Christopher Johnson in London;
Editing by Christian Wiessner)