NEW YORK--U.S. and global oil futures rose on the week amid heightened concerns about Iraqi production, though Brent, the international benchmark, slipped Friday from nine-month highs.
Light, sweet crude for July delivery settled up 83 cents, or 0.8%, at $107.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the highest settlement price since Sept. 18, 2013. Prices gained 0.3% this week. The July contract expired at settlement Friday. The more actively traded August contract rose 78 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $106.83 a barrel.
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Brent crude on the ICE futures exchange fell 25 cents, or 0.2%, to $114.81 a barrel. Prices still rose 2.1% for the week, capping their largest two-week percentage gain since the week ended July 6, 2012.
The price gap between the two front-month contracts widened to $8.63 a barrel Thursday, the highest price since May 14, prompting traders who had bet that the gap would widen to lock in profits. The price gap, or spread, settled Friday at $7.55 a barrel.
"Today's trade was largely [driven] by a reversal in WTI-Brent spreads, with today's July WTI expiration providing some catalyst," said energy-advisory firm Ritterbusch & Associates in a note, referring to West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. oil benchmark.
Sectarian violence in Iraq buoyed both contracts this week. Iraqi production is mostly located in the south of the country, far from the current fighting, and has yet to be disrupted. But any supply outage could be a significant loss to a global market that has already seen supply reductions, especially in Libya.
Front-month July reformulated gasoline blendstock, or RBOB, settled up 0.22 cent, or 0.1%, to $3.1277 a gallon, the highest price since July 16, 2013. Prices rose 2.3% for the week.
July diesel settled down 0.12 cent at $3.0512 a gallon. Prices gained 2.1% this week.