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Oil prices flat in Asian trade

business Updated: Feb 26, 2008 13:29 IST

World oil prices traded flat above $99 a barrel in Asian trade on Tuesday, supported by supply worries over Turkey's offensive in Iraq and fears of an OPEC output cut, dealers said.

In morning trade, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April, gained four cents to $99.27 per barrel.

The contract closed up 42 cents at $99.23 a barrel during floor trading on Monday at the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Brent North Sea crude for April delivery fell five cents to $97.64, after settling 68 cents higher at USD 97.69 yesterday in London. "Prices are trading at a narrower range but it is still at a high level," said David Moore, a commodity strategist with Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney.

He said prices "are supported by colder weather in the US, expectations of a cut in production and geopolitical worries."

Turkish fighter jets pounded Kurdish rebel positions for the fifth day yesterday in the mountainous Hakurk region of northern Iraq, security sources told AFP.

Ankara says an estimated 4,000 PKK rebels are holed up in northern Iraq and use the region as a springboard for attacks on Turkish territory as part of their campaign for self-rule in Kurdish-majority southeast Turkey.

The Iraqi oil ministry said Saturday that the action has not affected Iraqi exports of 300,000 barrels of oil per day through Turkey.