Brent crude oil slipped further towards $65 a barrel on Friday as tensions in the Middle East concerning Iran eased as investors focused on rising U.S. oil inventories and other signs of ample supply, Kallanish Energy reports.
Iran responded to a U.S. drone strike that killed a top Iranian general on Jan. 3, with a missile attack on Iraqi air bases hosting U.S. forces that produced no casualties. But a Revolutionary Guards commander said Iran would take “harsher revenge” soon.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down 27 cents, at $65.10 a barrel by 1415 GMT, and was heading for its first weekly decline in six weeks, down over 4%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 33 cents to $59.23/Bbl.
Also adding pressure, U.S. government data Friday showed job growth slowed more than expected in December, with 145,000 non-farm jobs added in December, compared to a general consensus of 160,000 jobs.
Brent is now below where it was before the U.S. drone strike killed Iranian general Qassem Soleimani on Jan. 3. There has been no disruption to Middle East production as a result of the flare-up in tensions and other indications last week suggest supply is ample.
Crude inventories in the U.S. rose last week by 1.2 million barrels (Mmbbl), the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. That compared with analysts’ expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.6 Mmbbl drop.
This post appeared first on Kallanish Energy News.