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US oil ends higher; traders price in Iran breakthrough

Reuters with CNBC.com
Tuesday, 19 Nov 2013 | 2:42 PM ET
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Crude was mixed on Tuesday, with U.S. oil ending marginally higher but Brent falling, as investors eyed talks this week between world powers and Iran that may lead to an easing of sanctions against the oil-rich country.

U.S. oil rose on the back of higher oil product prices after news of a fire at Total's 360,000 barrel per day (bpd) Antwerp refinery in Belgium. The fire at Europe's second-largest refinery killed at least one person and halted gasoline production.

Still, Brent reeled on events in the global economy, primarily a deal to end Iran's nuclear program. Also bearish for Brent was the resumption of oil exports from Libya.


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed Iran on Monday to finalize a deal, but said he has "no specific expectations'' for talks in Geneva. Sanctions on Iran have kept around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from the global market and any deal could allow some of that oil to be sold, depressing a market that is already well supplied.

January Brent crude fell more than $1 to near $107 a barrel, down for the third straight session. U.S. crude for December ended up 31 cents at $93.34.

The six major powers and Iran will meet from Wednesday to try to forge an interim deal on Tehran's nuclear program. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday pressed Iran to finalize a deal, but said he has ``no specific expectations'' for talks in Geneva. Sanctions on Iran have kept around 1 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil from the global market and any deal could allow some of that oil to be sold, depressing a market that is already well supplied.

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