Oil prices stabilize at US$99 a barrel

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in April stood at US$99.2 per barrel. World oil prices have stabilized at US$99 a barrel in Asian trade. The higher price level has been supported by supply worries on Turkey's offensive in Iraq and fears of OPEC announcing an output cut. Brent North Sea crude for April delivery stood at US$ 97.6. Higher oil prices have also found support from the colder weather in USA, expectations of a cut in production and geopolitical concerns. Turkish fighter jets pounded Kurdish rebel positions for the fifth day on Monday in the mountainous Hakurk region of northern Iraq. An estimated 4,000 PKK rebels are beleived to be hiding 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. Iraq's northern oil fields are connected to the Turkish port of Ceyhan by a pipeline that crosses the two countries' border in northern Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, where Turkish troops are fighting separatist rebels. Most of Iraq's oil, a further 1.6 million barrels per day, is exported through the southern port of Basra.
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