The downward drift of oil prices continued Tuesday with the benchmark rate down near $100 a barrel even as the deteriorating security situation in Libya has raised questions over the restoration of crude exports.
By early afternoon in Europe, benchmark U.S. crude for August delivery was down 71 cents to $100.20 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The Nymex contract gained 8 cents to $100.91 on Monday after shedding 3.1 percent last week.
Brent crude, a benchmark for international oils, was down 82 cents to $10.89 on the ICE Futures exchange in London.
Prices fell sharply last week as worries about supply disruptions from Iraq eased and on the prospect of more supplies from Libya. Weaker than expected economic data for the first half of the year prompted the International Energy Agency and other experts to trim their forecasts for short and medium term demand.