U.S. West Texas Intermediate and international-Benchmark Brent crude oil futures are trading almost flat early Friday after closing lower for a third consecutive session.
The benchmark USA crude, West Texas Intermediate, has retreated since rising close to $67 a barrel in late January amid growing unease about surging American production. While the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies continue to curb output to reduce a global oversupply, record-breaking levels of production and expanding stockpiles in the US are also influencing investors.
Oil closed lower amid a selloff in equity markets and growing concern about increasing USA crude production.
US oil prices edged up on Friday, snapping three days of declines, but gains were limited as Asian share markets extended a selloff on Wall Street after news of planned USA tariffs on steel and aluminium raised fears of a trade war.
West Texas Intermediate for April delivery slipped 65 cents to settle at $60.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Those searching for a major disruptive force in the oil market need look no further than the USA", said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.in London.
Oil prices slid Wednesday after federal data showed that oil and gasoline are building up in storage even as USA oil production continues to climb. Besides, U.S. energy firms added one oil rig last week, the fifth weekly increase in a row, bringing the total count up to 799, the highest since April 2011. Total products supplied over the last four-week period averaged 20.4 million barrels per day, up 2.7% from the same period of previous year. Front-month futures traded at a $3.03 premium to May WTI. While the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies continue to curb output to reduce a global oversupply, record-breaking levels of production and expanding stockpiles in the U.S. are haunting the minds of investors. Traders sold the dollar on raised fears of a trade war.
After the best start to the year in more than a decade, oil has had a tumultuous month.
Mega projects - like the Dakota Access conduit between North Dakota and IL - would cost $300m more. Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the U.S. was considering extending sanctions against Venezuela to include imports of Venezuelan crude and exports of U.S. refined products. As a result, some projects probably will be delayed or cancelled altogether, the Washington-based industry group said in a statement. The Bloomberg Commodity Index is on course for a 0.4% drop this week, while the dollar is headed for a 0.5% increase in the period.
The report also showed that gasoline inventories rose by 2.483 million barrels, confounding expectations for a decline of 190,000 barrels.
Meantime, crude production cuts from the United Arab Emirates caused OPEC's monthly out-put to fall to a 10-month low in February.