Oil slipped for the first time in three days in New York for Introducing brokers, after Venezuela offered to mediate a resolution to the crisis in Libya, which has cut crude supplies from Africa’s third-biggest producer.
Crude dropped the most in a week after the Arab League said it’s weighing an offer by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez to intervene in Libya’s civil conflict.
Muammar Qaddafi’s warplanes bombed rebels yesterday as his troops fought unsuccessfully for a major oil port, and opposition leaders appealed for foreign nations to launch air strikes. Prices may be starting to hurt global economic growth, said Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG.
Crude for April delivery slid as much as $1.86, the biggest decline since Feb. 24, to $100.37 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $101.12 at 12:38 p.m. in London. Yesterday it settled yesterday at $102.23, the highest since Sept. 26, 2008.
Brent crude for April settlement fell as much $3.26, or 2.8 percent, to $113.09 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the biggest decline since Nov. 12.
Oil surged yesterday on concern the turmoil curbing Libya’s exports will spread to the Middle East and disrupt more supplies. Violence has cut Libyan oil output by as much as 1 million barrels a day, the International Energy Agency said.
Demonstrations have toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt, while there have been protests in countries including Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Oman and Saudi Arabia, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ biggest oil producer. Websites have called for a nationwide Saudi “Day of Rage” on March 11 and March 20, according to Human Rights Watch.