Oil prices extended losses on Thursday as rising US crude inventories intensified concerns about market oversupply.
According to data released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), stockpiles swelled by a further 4.95 million barrels to 533.1 million barrels.
Oil prices climbed off four-month lows on Thursday but the recovery was cautious with investors fretting that Opec-led supply cuts were not yet reducing record US crude inventories.
Oil prices dipped on Wednesday as rising crude stocks in the United States underscored an ongoing global fuel supply overhang despite an OPEC-led effort to cut output.
Oil prices fell on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from OPEC countries despite touted production cuts pressured already-bloated markets.
Oil prices were largely steady on Friday, finishing the week with modest gains, but speculators sharply cut long positions during last week’s rout, on concerns that an OPEC production cut was failing to reduce a global supply overhang.
OPEC will have to extend its oil output curbs in order to sustain a recovery in prices, as a revival in crude production outside the group may scupper its efforts to erode an overhang of unused inventory, a poll of market analysts showed on Friday.
Indian Oil Corp became India’s first refiner to buy light sweet Hibernia crude from Canada’s largest oil company, doing the deal after the opening of the arbitrage for Canadian oil to flow to Asia.
Oil prices cracked sharply last week, as optimism about markets achieving balance faded amid stubbornly high US inventories and rising US output.
Brent crude prices dropped to a three-month low on 14 March to $51 a barrel (see chart). That’s despite Opec’s (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) efforts to cut production and stabilize the market.