Oil headed for the longest run of weekly losses since August 2015 as OPEC member Libya restored production just as the surplus in the U.S. showed few signs of abating.
While futures added 0.9 percent in New York, they’re down 2.1 per cent for the week, a fourth straight decline.
U.S. inventories fell less than forecast last week, keeping supplies more than 100 million bbls above the five-year average, according to data from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday. Libya, exempt from the OPEC-led deal to cut supply, will boost output to one million bbls a day by the end of July, according to the country’s National Oil Co.
Oil slumped to the lowest close in seven months this week as concerns grew that rising U.S. supplies will offset the production curbs by the OPEC and allies including Russia. New non-OPEC output next year will be more than enough to meet demand growth, the International Energy Agency said Wednesday in its first forecast for 2018.
“There is really no bullish twist to the latest U.S. data,” said Michael Dei-Michei, head of research at Vienna-based consultants JBC Energy GmbH. “Implied crude production seems to have moved upwards at a rather rapid pace, U.S. gasoline demand has taken a turn to the downside just as the summer driving season starts and total U.S. oil stocks have not drawn for two weeks.”
West Texas Intermediate for July delivery was at $44.85 a bbl on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 39 cents, at 1:22 p.m. in London. Total volume traded was in line with the 100-day average. The contract lost 27 cents to $44.46 on Thursday, the lowest since Nov. 14.
Brent for August settlement rose 58 cents to $47.50 a bbl on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices are down 1.4 per cent this week. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.39 to August WTI.
© 2017 Bloomberg L.P.