Oil Plunges More Than 3%, Still Vulnerable Amid Increased Production

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Oil prices remained weak on Tuesday, following a slide of almost 3 percent the previous session, as concerns over Asia’s economic health mounted and as production remained high.

Brent crude futures were at $47.34 per barrel at 0127 EDT, unchanged from their last settlement and extending Monday’s more than 2.5-percent drop.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were at $44.40 a barrel, down 3 cents.

Offsetting some of the bearish sentiment was data estimating a drawdown of over 1 million barrels last week from the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub for U.S. crude.

On the supply side, Russia’s 2015 oil production is expected to increase slightly from last year to 526 million tonnes, or 10.56 million barrels per day (bpd), deputy minister for natural resources and ecology Denis Khramov said on Tuesday.

That would be up 1 million tonnes from last year but lower than a forecast of 530.5 million tonnes by Russia’s Economy Ministry, another sign that neither Russia nor the main Middle East producers from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are so far willing to curb production in support of prices.

OPEC producers Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates have indicated they will continue to stick to their policy of defending market share by keeping production high over supporting oil prices via output reductions.

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