Oil prices edge down on doubts about OPEC-led cuts

Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:52pm EST
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By Jessica Resnick-Ault

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday amid investor doubts that OPEC will agree to a production cut large enough to make a significant dent in the global glut of crude as U.S. drilling rises.

Members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will meet next week on Nov. 30 in Vienna to decide on the details of an agreement to cut output that the group has been trying to hammer out since September.

Oil prices fluctuated throughout the day, starting lower in the morning and later briefly turning positive after the Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly fell 1.3 million barrels last week after three straight weeks of builds. [EIA/S]

Reports that U.S. drillers added rigs this week tempered the gains ahead of the settlement. [RIG/U]

In the U.S. market, West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures CLc1 settled down 7 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $47.96 a barrel.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 settled down 17 cents, or 0.35 percent at $48.95 a barrel.

Calendar spreads, the difference in price between one month and the next in the futures market, showed little signs that traders are pricing in a big change in market fundamentals.

The front to second-month WTI calendar spread CLc1-CLc2 traded at its widest level in seven months on Tuesday, although it narrowed slightly on Wednesday. The one to six-month spread CLc1-CLc6 traded at one of the widest levels since August.   Continued...

A gas station attendant puts fuel into a customer's car at PetroChina's filling station in Beijing, China, March 21, 2016.   REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon