Oil prices fall over $1 a barrel

Oil prices fall over $1 a barrel
Updated 19 February 2016

Oil prices fall over $1 a barrel

Oil prices fall over $1 a barrel

LONDON: Oil prices fell by over $1 a barrel on Friday as talk of a plan by some producers to freeze output levels was tempered by continued concerns of an oversupplied market after a record build in US crude inventories.
Brent futures were down 1.07 cents at $33.21 a barrel by 1508 GMT, with US crude falling by $1.28 to $29.49.
Oil prices rose by more than 14 percent earlier in the week on Saudi Arabia and Russia's agreement to freeze output at January levels.
But while Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh welcomed the plan, he fell short of committing to it and Iranian sources told Reuters that capping output is not enough to rebalance the market.
Saudi Arabia repeated that it had no plans to cut output and would continue to protect its market share.
"If other producers want to limit or agree to a freeze in terms of additional production, that may have an impact on the market, but Saudi Arabia is not prepared to cut production," Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir told Agence France-Presse in an interview on Thursday.
Russia's First Deputy-Energy Minister Alexey Texler said on Friday an output freeze deal could clear half of a global oversupply of 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd).
"The OPEC output freeze, coupled with very affordable retail gasoline fuel prices, should help push oil back to $47 by June," Bank of America Merrill Lynch said in a note on Friday.
Iraq's Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Thursday talks would continue between OPEC and non-OPEC members to find ways to restore "normal" oil prices after a meeting in Tehran on Wednesday.
A record build in US crude inventories last week stoked concerns over persistent global oversupply. Crude stocks rose by 2.1 million barrels to a peak of 504.1 million, data from the US government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed on Thursday.
The recovery at the back end of the WTI curve this week is prompting US shale producers, for the first time in months, to inquire and place new hedges to lock in 2017 prices of around $45 a barrel.
The activity reflects expectations of growing investor and lender pressure to safeguard heavy debt requirements down the road, as well as declining drilling costs, allowing companies to break even at lower prices.