Oil down 4 percent as U.S. glut overshadows producer talks

Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:33pm EST
 
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By Barani Krishnan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices fell 4 percent on Friday, with Brent down a third straight week, as record high U.S. crude stockpiles intensified worries that a plan to freeze world output will do little or nothing to reduce massive oil supplies already in the market.

A slide in the U.S. equity markets, which have for weeks been trading in tandem with oil, also weighed on crude, traders said. [.N]

Brent crude LCOc1 settled $1.27, or 3.7 percent, lower at $33.01 a barrel.

U.S. crude CLc1 lost $1.13, also finishing 3.7 percent lower at $29.64.

Even data from industry firm Baker Hughes showing the U.S. oil rig count at its lowest since December 2009 after nine straight weeks of declines failed to lift crude prices. [RIG/U]

Brent finished the week down 1 percent while U.S. crude ended flat after a particularly volatile week for oil, where prices fell and rose as much as 5 percent in a day.

Oil has shed 70 percent from highs above $100 a barrel in a selloff that has seen little pause over the past 20 months. Since last Friday though, some traders believed the market had seen a bottom on talk that OPEC was on a plan to reign in production.

This week, Saudi Arabia, the lynchpin of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, along with Qatar and Venezuela, and non-OPEC member Russia, proposed to freeze output at January's highs.   Continued...

 
A worker walks past a pump jack on an oil field owned by Bashneft company near the village of Nikolo-Berezovka, northwest from Ufa, Bashkortostan, Russia, in this January 28, 2015 file photo. REUTERS/Sergei Karpukhin/Files