Oil slips on BP pipeline restart, US data

LONDON - Oil prices fell below $115 on Wednesday, pressured by signs of a slowdown in demand from Asia and the restart of BP's oil pipeline to a key export port in Turkey after a fire earlier this month.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Wed 20 Aug 2008, 7:24 PM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 11:55 AM

BP Plc said on Wednesday that testing of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline would begin, ahead of a move to resume full operation of the route.

U.S. crude dipped by six cents to $114.47 a barrel by 1000 GMT. London Brent crude fell 17 cents to $113.08.

Oil prices were also pressured by expected falls in oil product imports from China, the world's second largest oil consumer after the United States, analysts said.

China's Sinopec Group, Asia's biggest refinery, may suspend gasoline and diesel imports soon as a domestic shortage is ending, the official Shanghai Securities News said on Wednesday.

Earlier this week, traders said the company would skip diesel imports for September.

"There are quite a few sings of demand warnings from Asia. It is a new development and it has not been factored in," Olivier Jakob with Petrometorix said.

Traders were also awaiting U.S. oil data due out later on Wednesday.

Gasoline supplies are expected to show a heavy drawdown for a fourth week in a row as imports continue to decline and output is hampered by some refinery outages and maintenance work.

The Energy Information Administration (EIA) data is expected to show a 3 million barrel drawdown, a Reuters poll analysts showed ahead of the release of the U.S. government data at 1435 GMT..

The data was, however, likely to show an increase in crude oil inventories, capping rises in oil prices.

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