Oil prices opened mixed on Tuesday as Brent crude hovered around $71 per barrel with supply risks in Libya, OPEC production cuts, and with Goldman Sachs raising its price forecast.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $70.97 a barrel with a 0.15% decline after it closed Monday at $71.07 per barrel. The benchmark reached as high as $71.34 a barrel during the day -- its highest level this year.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate, on the other hand, was $64.39 per barrel for a loss of 0.08% after ending the previous session at $64.44 a barrel.
In Libya, tensions between the UN-backed Government of National Accord and east Libya-based commander Khalifa Haftar escalated, posing risks against the secure supply of crude from the OPEC nation.
Since the beginning of 2019, Brent crude increased more than 30% and WTI rose around 40% after OPEC and non-OPEC producing countries agreed on Dec. 7, 2018 to trim their output by 1.2 million barrels a day for the first six months of this year.
Crude prices could increase further if tensions in Libya escalate, supported by U.S. sanctions on Iran and Venezuela, which hinder oil exports from these two countries.
Due to the threat of supply disruptions, on Monday, Goldman Sachs increased its forecast for Brent crude to $72.50 per barrel for the second quarter of 2019 from the previous forecast of $65 a barrel.
The U.S.-based investment-banking firm said in a report that oil prices could decline as OPEC's production increases in the second half of 2019.
By Ovunc Kutlu