Oil dips on Buzzard restart, Iraq; U.S. crude tests below $50
By Ethan Lou
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Oil prices dipped on Monday, with U.S. crude briefly falling below $50 per barrel, on news of the impending restart of Britain's Buzzard oilfield and Iraq's wish to be exempted from OPEC production cuts.
Buzzard, the North Sea field that contributes to the Forties crude stream and which pumps about 180,000 barrels per day (bpd), will restart on Tuesday or Wednesday, from a month-long planned maintenance, an industry source said.
Iraq's oil minister Jabar Ali al-Luaibi said the second-largest producer in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) wanted to be exempt from output curbs as it needed more money to fight Islamic State militants.
OPEC hopes to remove about 700,000 bpd from an estimated global supply of 1.0-1.5 million bpd. Details of how much each member should cut have been left to its meeting in Vienna on Nov. 30.
Brent LCOc1, the international benchmark for crude, settled down 32 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $51.46 a barrel. Its session low was $50.50.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 fell 33 cents, or 0.7 percent, to settle at $50.52.
WTI slid below $50 for the first time since Oct. 18, hitting a session low of $49.62, as some players locked in profits from oil's climb of more than $5 a barrel, or about 13 percent, over the past month.
"We're seeing some length exiting the market," said Pete Donovan, broker at New York's Liquidity Energy. Continued...