Oil slips lower amid debate on U.S. shale oil recovery

Mon May 11, 2015 4:13pm EDT
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil edged lower on Monday on signs that a multi-week rally was encouraging a rejuvenation in already bloated U.S. shale supplies, even as the government expected less output in June from the fastest-growing fields.

Last week, U.S. crude prices gained on a weekly basis for an eighth straight week while Brent had its decline after four weeks of gains.

In a sign that the market was responding to those price gains, rigs for drilling oil in the voluminous Permian shale basin rose last week for the first time this year after months of cutbacks.

Still, the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects output from the fastest-growing U.S. shale plays to drop 71,000 barrels per day in June to 4.97 million bpd.

"It's pretty choppy as people try to figure out a clearer supply-demand situation," said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

While he was not a believer of the recent market runup, McGillian said there were no signs the rally was over and "we could ultimately be setting ourselves up for an even sharper decline later".

U.S. crude futures settled down 14 cents at $59.25 a barrel.

Brent crude futures, the more globally referenced benchmark for oil, fell 48 cents to end at $64.91.   Continued...

A woman pumps gas at a station in Falls Church, Virginia December 16, 2014.
REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque