Saboteurs have blown up one of Iraq's two main oil export pipelines near Basra, igniting tight supply concerns. The pipeline carries crude from the Zubair oil field to the Al-Faw storage facility from where it is exported. Lost production is estimated to sum up to 130,000 barrels of oil over the next few days until the pipe is repaired. Supplies are also under further pressured by the OPEC's decision made earlier this month to maintain its output levels. The supply concern has escalated oil prices past US$107 in New York. London's Brent North Sea crude for May moved up to US$104.60.
Oil prices have also found support from a weaker-than-expected energy stockpiles report in the United States. Report that crude inventories have been unyielding at 311.8 mln barrels in the week ending March 21, has deviated from market expectations of a weekly gain of 1.8 mln barrels.