Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Oil prices fall as economic worries offset tightening supplies

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imageCommodities20 minutes ago (Jul 12, 2021 08:50AM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee demonstrates a sample of crude oil in the Yarakta Oil Field, owned by Irkutsk Oil Company (INK), in Irkutsk Region, Russia in this picture illustration taken March 11, 2019. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko/Illustration/File Photo

By Noah Browning

LONDON (Reuters) -Oil prices slipped on Monday as concerns about slowing global growth outweighed the prospect of tightening supply after talks among key producers to raise output in coming months stalled.

Brent crude for September fell 86 cents, or 1.1%, to $74.69 a barrel by 1240 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August was at $73.71 a barrel, down 85 cents, or 1.1%.

Both benchmarks fell about 1% last week but remain close to highs last reached in October 2018. Brent climbed above $77 last week.

The spread of coronavirus variants and unequal access to vaccines threaten the global economic recovery, finance chiefs of the G20 large economies said on Saturday.

“Traders are now refocusing on the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and global concerns over the new variants’ expansion are weighing on prices, despite tightening oil supplies globally,” Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson said.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, abandoned talks last week over an output deal, which included pumping more oil from August, after a dispute between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates about how to extend the pact.

Although failure to agree means less oil in the short term, analysts say the collapse of talks raises the longer term prospect of producers abandoning the deal and pumping at will.

“The market has been a bit negative as of late amid the growing sense that the latest OPEC+ impasse could be a precursor to a pump-and-grab scenario, meaning a lot more oil potentially gets put on the market,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

Saudi Arabia and Oman called on Monday for continued cooperation between OPEC and allied producers.

Front-month WTI crude futures posted a sixth weekly gain last week after a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed U.S. crude and gasoline stocks fell while gasoline demand reached its highest since 2019.

In response to higher oil prices, U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row, data from Baker Hughes showed.

Oil prices fall as economic worries offset tightening supplies

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