Oil prices ticked higher this afternoon, but the gains were limited by news of returning supply from strife-stricken Opec members Nigeria and Libya.
The black stuff was energised yesterday after a better-than-expected set of data showed cumbersome US oil stocks had fallen. But any upwards momentum was limited by expectations for a return of crude supplies from Libya and Nigeria.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was last up 0.85 per cent to $46.24 per barrel. Meanwhile, its US counterpart swelled 0.53 per cent to $43.81.
US government data released yesterday showed crude inventories dropped by 599,000 barrels in the week to 9 September, pleasantly surprising analysts who had expected a crude build of 3.8m barrels.
"It's good news at this time of the year to see a draw like that [in crude stocks]," Ric Spooner, chief market analyst for CMC Markets.
"But the market seems to be more concerns at the moment about the possibility of a sharp increase of the supply from Libya."
Libya's National Oil Corporation is lifting its suspension of oil exports at three ports and activity at one of them will resume immediately, it said today.
And expectations that Nigerian crude supplies could also be returning as offers for October-loading Qua Iboe crude have emerged even as force majeure on it remains in place.