LONDON (Reuters) – Oil prices fell on Monday as U.S. production hit a record high and OPEC members considered boosting supply.
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 lost $1.26 a barrel, or 1.6 percent, to a low of $75.53 before recovering to $75.89, down 90 cents, by 1125 GMT.
U.S. light crude CLc1 was 40 cents down at 65.41 a barrel. The U.S. contract lost about 3 percent last week after a decline of nearly 5 percent the previous week.
“A sea of red is washing over the energy complex as rising U.S. production coupled with a looming relaxation in OPEC-led cuts sends bulls scurrying for the exits,” said Stephen Brennock, analyst at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates.
U.S. crude production climbed in March to 10.47 million barrels per day (bpd), a monthly record, data from the Energy Information Administration showed last week.
U.S. drillers added two oil rigs in the week to June 1, bringing the total to 861, the most since March 2015, energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday. That was the eighth time drillers have added rigs in the past nine weeks.
Arab oil ministers agreed over the weekend on the need for continued cooperation between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other big producers to balance global supply, Kuwait’s state news agency KUNA reported on Sunday.
OPEC ministers from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Algeria, along with their counterpart from non-OPEC Oman, met unofficially in Kuwait on Saturday.
OPEC meets formally on June 22 to set oil policy. It is expected to agree to raise output to cool the market amid worries over Iranian and Venezuelan supply and after Washington raised concerns that the oil rally was going too far, OPEC sources familiar with the discussions told Reuters last month.
Saudi Arabia, the effective OPEC leader, and Russia have discussed boosting output to compensate for supply losses from Venezuela and to address concerns about the impact of U.S. sanctions on Iranian output.
Russia’s largest oil producer, Rosneft (ROSN.MM), will be able to restore 70,000 bpd of oil output in only two days if global production limits are lifted, Renaissance Capital wrote in a client note.
Hedge funds and other money managers cut their bullish wagers on U.S. crude futures and options, according to data released on Friday, as oil prices slumped on oversupply fears.
Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore; Editing by Louise Heavens and David Goodman
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