SEOUL, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. crude oil futures slipped on Tuesday after a rally triggered by unrest in Iraq lost some steam as OPEC’s second-largest producer tightened security around oil infrastructure and oilfields to protect them from insurgents.
But investors remain wary about a potential disruption to oil exports amid advances by Sunni Islamist insurgents and the possibility of U.S. air strikes.
* U.S. crude oil futures fell, as traders booked profits after oil futures hit a session high of $107.54. Surging domestic oil production in the U.S. makes it less vulnerable than other countries to a supply squeeze out of Iraq.
* U.S. July crude was down 19 cents at $106.71 a barrel as of 0001 GMT. In the previous session, it settled 1 cent down at $106.90 a barrel, after swinging by nearly $1, between $106.61 and $107.54. The U.S. July contract expires on June 20.
* Brent crude for August delivery eased 4 cents to $112.90 a barrel. The contract previously settled 48 cents higher at $112.94 a barrel, after touching an intraday high of $113.28.
* The United States said it could launch air strikes and did not rule out cooperating with Iran to support the Iraqi government, after a rampage by Sunni Islamist insurgents across Iraq that has brought accusations of war crimes.
* The United States and Iran discussed Iraq briefly on Monday, a senior U.S. official confirmed, saying such talks would not include military coordination and would not make “strategic determinations” over the heads of Iraqis.
* U.S. security officials prepared on Monday to brief President Barack Obama on options to counter militants threatening Baghdad as Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki came under increased U.S. pressure to curb religious partisanship in his government.
* With Iran, six world powers will try in talks in Vienna this week to narrow differences and keep alive hopes of ending a decade-old nuclear dispute by late July, despite doubts the self-imposed deadline can be met.
* Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom reduced supplies to Ukraine on Monday after Kiev failed to meet a deadline to pay off its gas debts in a dispute that could disrupt supplies to the rest of Europe.
* While the fighting in Iraq damped global equity markets, merger activity and strong U.S. economic data offset downward pressure on Wall Street, where stocks closed slightly higher. The dollar slipped as traders await clues from the U.S. Federal Reserve on the timing of an interest rate increase amid doubts about the economic recovery.
* The following data is expected on Tuesday: (Time in GMT)
0800 Italy Trade data April
0900 Germany ZEW economic sentiment June
0900 Euro zone Labour costs Q1
1230 U.S. Housing starts May
1230 U.S. Building permits May
1230 U.S. Consumer prices May (Reporting by Meeyoung Cho; Editing by Richard Pullin)