Oil prices fall on doubts over Russian output curbs
SINGAPORE – Oil prices slipped in Asian trade on Monday, wiping out some of the gains of the previous session amid ongoing concern over Russia’s compliance with a global deal to cut oil output.
Figures released last week showed Russia’s February oil output was unchanged from January at 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd), energy ministry data showed, casting doubt on Russia’s moves to rein in output as part of a pact with oil producers last year.
US crude futures, also known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), fell 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $53.14 a barrel as of 0109 GMT after closing the previous session up 1.4 percent.
Brent crude futures dropped 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $55.77 a barrel after settling 1.5 percent in the previous session.
Oil prices rose on Friday as the dollar weakened modestly after a speech by US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, which suggested a rate increase would come at the end of its two-day meeting on March 15.
A weaker dollar bolsters commodity prices, including oil. While a rate hike would be supportive for the US dollar, analysts said a near-term hike was already largely priced in.
Crude oil prices were also supported by news of increasing supply disruptions in the Middle East, ANZ said in a note on Monday.
That followed new doubts over Libya’s attempts to revive its oil production after an armed faction entered two major oil ports on Friday, pushing back forces that captured and reopened the terminals in September.
However, US drilling figures undermined support for oil prices. Baker Hughes reported an increase in the number of drilling rigs added by US drillers last week. The number rose 609, the highest since October 2015 and the seventh straight week rig numbers have risen. Reuters