Crude oil futures plunge to to Rs. 3165 per barrel

21 March, 2017, 05:06 | Author: Valerie Burke

Brent crude was down 58 cents at $51.18 per barrel, while USA benchmark WTI slid 74 cents to $48.

Oil prices rose early on Tuesday on expectations that an OPEC-led production cut to prop up the market could be extended, and as strong demand was seen to slowly erode a global fuel supply overhang.

WTI crude oil was down 56 cents, or 1.2%, to settle at $48.22/bbl. US WTI and Brent crude oil prices averaged $43.3 per barrel and $43.7 per barrel in 2016, respectively.

Traders said that prices came under pressure from rising U.S. drilling and ongoing high supplies by the Opec despite its pledge to cut output by nearly 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) together with some other producers like Russian Federation.

Yet so far the cutback has not had the desired effect as compliance by involved exporters is patchy and as other producers, including the United States, have stepped up to fill the gap, resulting in crude prices falling more than 10 percent since the beginning of the year.

Oil prices were also hit by information from Libya, which is exempt from the cartel's deal due to fighting in the country.

OPEC and non-OPEC members agreed previous year to cut output by a combined 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) in the first half of 2017. Shale production is also expected to reach a six-month high in April.

The bias is still to the downside with potentially bullish comments from Saudi Arabia Minister Khalid al-Falih failing to move prices higher with his talk of a possible extension of the plan to cut output. Though some of the OPEC members have indicated their willingness to prolong the cuts, comments by Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, world's largest crude producers and effectively leaders of the OPEC and non-OPEC blocs in the production restraint deals, carry far more weight.

Reacting to the oversupply, traders cut net long positions in oil, the biggest cut on record, according to the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data compiled by Reuters.

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