Oil falters on low prospect of output cuts

U.S. benchmark price for crude again threatening the $30 per barrel threshold.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  Feb. 8, 2016 at 9:55 AM
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NEW YORK, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- Crude oil prices moved lower in early Monday trading after OPEC members offered few signs of lowering production to alleviate the lingering glut.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi hosted his Venezuelan counterpart, Eulogio Del Pino, during the weekend. Though the official Saudi Press Agency reported both sides discussed "the best means of stabilizing the oil market," no mention was made of production cuts.

Crude oil prices are trading lower because inventories are building amid slowing growth in the world economy. The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported domestic crude oil inventories increased by 7.8 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 29.

Oil moved lower in early morning trading in response to few signs of production cuts from members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. The price for Brent, the global benchmark for oil, fell 2 percent to start the day in New York at $33.37 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the U.S. benchmark, was down 1.7 percent to $30.37 per barrel.

Brent crude oil is up 2.8 percent since the start of February, but down 8 percent for the year.

Lingering expectations that Iran, one of Saudi Arabia's main rivals, may add more crude oil to the market has cast a cloud over any prospects for a major rebound in crude oil prices. The Iranian Oil Ministry said it expects to cut a deal by Feb. 16 with French energy company Total for the sale of 160,000 barrels of oil per day.

Consultant group Wood Mackenzie said last week crude oil prices may only move into the low $40s for 2016 on average. Ian Taylor, the chief executive officer at oil trader Vitol Group, told Bloomberg News crude oil prices may stay around $50 per barrel for the next "five to ten years."

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