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Energy Insights: Energy News: Oil slips below $107 as supply improves

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Oil slips below $107 as supply improves



* US oil set to post biggest weekly fall since June

* White House presses Senate to delay new Iran sanctions

* Coming Up: U.S. durable goods data at 1230 GMT (Updates prices; paragraphs 1, 4-5)

By Christopher Johnson

LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Brent crude oil slipped further below $107 a barrel on Friday on concerns about higher supply and faltering demand, despite signs of faster economic growth in major consumer China.

Worries that the escalating war in Syria could disrupt Middle East oil supplies pushed Brent to a six-month high above $117 in August. But prices have dropped more than $10 a barrel since then and some analysts see further falls ahead.

U.S. light crude oil has been depressed by a seasonal dip in demand and increasing domestic oil production that has boosted stockpiles, particularly on the U.S. Gulf coast.

Brent crude for December was down 9 cents a barrel to $106.90 by 1020 GMT, or nearly 3 percent lower on the week, falling for a third day.

U.S. crude oil was up 40 cents at $97.51, although still down around 3.5 percent on the week, its biggest weekly loss since June.

"We are seeing some consolidation after several days of falls," said Commerzbank senior oil and commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch in Frankfurt.

"But the fact that prices have not bounced back is quite bearish. The risks are still to the downside."

Oil supplies have improved in recent weeks with higher output from several producers in the Middle East and North Africa and several analysts see oil heading lower.

"Balances are not as tight as we, or the market, had expected," said Virendra Chauhan, oil analyst at London-based consultancy Energy Aspects.

"The worst of this year's supply shortfalls is now behind us, with maintenance at non-OPEC fields largely complete and some of the lost OPEC production also coming back in Libya, Nigeria and Iraq," Chauhan added.

Oil markets found some support from Chinese data on Thursday pointing to faster economic growth in the world's second-biggest oil user.

China's factory output expanded at its fastest pace in seven months in October as policymakers sought to ensure a steady, broad-based recovery.

In the United States, while overall manufacturing fell last month, investors expect oil demand to recover as peak winter demand sets in.

But fading geopolitical risk is curbing speculative interest in oil with signs of a possible rapprochement between Iran and the West raising expectations of some easing of sanctions against the Islamic state.

The White House hosted a meeting of aides to Senate committee leaders on Thursday trying to persuade lawmakers to hold off on a package of tough new sanctions against Iran.

This had been expected to come to a vote in the Senate Banking Committee last month but was held back after appeals from President Barack Obama's administration to let negotiations on Iran's nuclear programme get under way.

Diplomats say sanctions against Iran are likely to stay in place for some time, even if there is progress in talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme. But any signs of a deal, with an eventual return of Iranian oil to world markets, would have a negative impact on prices, analysts say.

"The prospect for 2014 is already of a big surplus, and, on top of that, there is the chance of a return to the market of more Iranian oil - barrels no one needs," Commerzbank's Fritsch said. (Additional reporting by Manash Goswami in Singapore; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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