Prime News: Oil Prices Fell on Potential Rise in OPEC Output

Oil prices dropped on Thursday on expectations that OPEC members will increase production in the face of worries over supply from both Venezuela and Iran.

A sudden build up in crude oil inventories in the United States also weighed on prices, driving the spread between Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) close to its widest in three years.

International benchmark Brent futures were down 27 cents, or 0.34 percent, at $79.53 per barrel.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 futures were down 17 cents, or 0.24 percent, at $71.67 a barrel.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may decide to increase oil output to make up reduced supply from Iran and Venezuela in response to concerns from Washington over a rally in oil prices, OPEC and oil industry sources told Reuters.

Supply concerns in Iran and Venezuela following new U.S. sanctions had pushed both Brent and WTI to multi-year highs, with Brent breaking through an $80 threshold last week for the first time since November 2014.

Meanwhile, commercial U.S. crude inventories were up by 5.8 million barrels in the week to May 18, surpassing analyst expectations for a decrease of 1.6 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company –

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