Sydney - Oil declined as an increase in US drilling countered the prospect of OPEC extending an output-reduction deal.
lost as much as 1.1% in New York after gaining 0.6% last
week. Producers added more
oil rigs to US fields last week, extending a drilling surge into a
10th month, Baker Hughes said. Saudi Arabia is ready to
extend cuts if supplies stay above the five-year average, Energy
Khalid Al-Falih said in an
interview on Bloomberg Television.
Oil traded below $50 a barrel last week, near the lowest levels since
November, as near-
record US crude stockpiles and increasing
production weighed on the output reductions by the Organisation of
Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC nations. OPEC and its
partners should decide in late April or mid-May whether to continue
curbs, according to Russian Energy Minister
“One of the key drivers will be speculation over whether OPEC will
extend its output cut agreement,” said
Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets in Sydney. “It is a
significant factor for markets and if it’s not rolled over it could be
quite a bearish development.”
West Texas Intermediate for
April delivery, which expires Tuesday, fell as much as 52 cents to
$48.26 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $48.32 as
The more-actively traded
May contract dropped as much as 1%. Total volume traded was about
32% below the
Brent for May
settlement declined as much as 41c to $51.35 a
barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices last week
gained 0.8% to end at $51.76. The global benchmark crude traded
premium of $2.53 to May WTI.
US drillers boosted the rig count by 14 to 631 last week, data on
Friday from Baker Hughes showed. Companies have added 106 machines to
fields this year. The nation’s crude
output has climbed to 9.1 million barrels a day, the most since February
last year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
OPEC and its allies improved their collective compliance to cuts last
month as deeper reductions from members offset weaker implementation
from other producers, according to two delegates familiar with the
conclusions of a meeting in Vienna on Friday.
Libya’s crude shipments from Es Sider and Ras Lanuf ports to restart in
one week to 10 days, Jadalla Alaokali, board member at National Oil, said by phone.
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