Brent Oil Firm On New Russia Sanctions; US Slips On Refinery


NEW YORK, July 29 (Reuters) - Brent crude ended slightly higher on Tuesday as new sanctions on Russia looked set to worsen relations between Moscow and the West, while U.S. prices slipped after a Kansas refinery fire curbed demand for WTI crude.

Brent futures reversed early morning losses after news that the European Union and the United States expanded economic sanctions on Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis. However many traders remained dubious over whether the measures would have a major impact on immediate supplies.

"The new sanctions against Russia don't seem to be a game-changer, as long as we don't have a supply disruption," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent crude gained 15 cents to settle at $107.72 a barrel, after swinging between $107.13 and $108.05 earlier in the session.

U.S. crude lost 70 cents to settle at $100.97 a barrel after touching an intraday low of $100.37, the lowest since mid-July. Prices gained another 10 cents after-hours, following industry data showing another big 4.4 million barrels drop in nationwide crude oil inventories last week.

U.S. crude prices tumbled after news that CVR Energy Inc's 115,000-barrel-per-day refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, a major consumer of West Texas Intermediate crude, was shut down after a fire in a gasoline unit. There was no immediate indication of when production might resume.

Inventories in the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point for the U.S. crude contract, have fallen to their lowest in six years, putting more scrutiny on local supplies in the area. Data released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute showed Cushing stocks fell by a further 914,000 barrels.


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