|Published : 20 Mar 2017, 12:15:10 | Updated : 20 Mar 2017, 12:18:37|
Oil slip on rise in US drilling
Oil prices slipped on Monday as rising US drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets.
Prices for benchmark Brent crude futures were 29 cents, or 0.56 per cent, below their last settlement at 0223 GMT, at $51.47 per barrel.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 38 cents, or 0.78 per cent, at $48.40 a barrel.
Traders said that prices came under pressure from rising US drilling and ongoing high supplies by the OPEC despite its pledge to cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) together with some other producers like Russia.
US drillers added 14 oil rigs in the week to March 17, bringing the total count up to 631, the most since September 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday, extending a recovery that is expected to boost shale production by the most in six-months in April.
As a result, US oil output has risen to over 9.1 million bpd from below 8.5 million bpd in June last year.
Reacting to the ongoing glut in markets, financial oil traders cut their net long US crude futures and options positions in the week to March 14, the third consecutive cut, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
Defying rising sentiment that oil markets remain oversupplied, some analysts say markets will tighten soon, arguing that the OPEC-led cuts will only start to bite from April, just as demand picks up as refineries return from current maintenance outages, according to Reuters.