Oil prices are headed for another weekly decline – the fourth in a row – amid signs that a global supply glut will expand.
Futures were little changed in New York today after falling 2.3% to a six-week low yesterday.
Iran is in talks with buyers in Asia to sell more crude if sanctions on the Middle Eastern country are lifted, sources say.
US drilling executives were in Washington this week to persuade White House officials and lawmakers to end the 40-year ban on American oil exports.
Oil is extending weekly losses after US inventories and production increased to the highest levels in more than three decades, bolstering speculation that a global surplus that drove prices almost 50% lower last year will worsen.
The market is oversupplied by 1million to 1.5million barrels a day, according to an official from Oman, the biggest non-Opec producer in the Middle East.
“The supply side is known,” Michael McCarthy, a chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney, said.
He added: “It’s concerns about the demand outlook and the deterioration of the technical picture.”
Brent for April settlement was four cents higher at $57.12 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange this morning.
It slid 46 cents to $57.08 yesterday and has fallen by 4.2% this week. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of $10.01 to WTI, compared with $10.12 on March 6.
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery was at $47.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange earlier today, up six cents. The contract dropped $1.12 to $47.05 yesterday, the lowest close since January 29. Prices are down 5% this week.
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