Oil falls with glut in focus after hopes for producer deal fade

Mon Feb 8, 2016 12:02pm EST
 
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By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices were down 2 percent on Monday as supply overhang concerns grew after a Saudi-Venezuela meeting at the weekend showed few signs of coordination to boost prices.

No tangible signs emerged from a meeting on Sunday between Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali al-Naimi and his Venezuelan counterpart that OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers were ready to meet to discuss the price slump.

After a flurry of diplomacy over the last two weeks about a possible production cut roiled oil markets, Sunday's meeting between cash-strapped Venezuela and the kingpin of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries was seen as "make or break" for a possible deal to boost prices that have slumped 70 percent since mid-2014.

Venezuela's oil minister Eulogio Del Pino, who was on a tour of oil producers to lobby for action to prop up prices, said his meeting with Naimi was "productive."

"But does 'productive' mean less production? The market thinks not, at least right now," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

By noon (1800 GMT), Brent crude LCOc1 was down 53 cents, or 1.6 percent, at $33.53 a barrel, paring a fall of more than 3 percent earlier in the session.

U.S. crude CLc1 slid 62 cents, or 2 percent, to $30.27 a barrel, also trimming losses after a drop of more than 4 percent earlier.

"With the possibility of a production cutting deal quickly fading into the sunset, market participants are once again left to focus on the reality of the oversupplied global market," Energy Management Institute analyst Dominick Chirichella wrote in a note.   Continued...

 
A man and vehicles are reflected in a price display at a gas station in Tokyo August 26, 2015. REUTERS/Toru Hanai