U.S. oil futures slipped further below the key $100 a barrel level, and international crude moved closer to U.S. prices as some geopolitical pressures eased.
Oil fell on progress in the eight-month standoff at Libyan ports but appears to have shrugged off tensions surrounding Ukraine and even a weekly U.S. government report Wednesday that showed a surprise drop in U.S. inventories. Traders, however, wrote off the decline of 2.4 million barrels in the week ended March 28 as a temporary dip because of the shutdown of the Houston shipping channel for three days two weeks ago.
Crude has been weakening as progress appears to be made in Libya, which has had about 1.3 million barrels a day off the market. News reports that a rebel group agreed with the Libyan government to give up its seizure of ports led to optimism Libyan oil will come back on the market.