07 November, 2016
Oil futures headed lower on Friday, deepening their loss for the week, as uncertainty surrounded a weekend meeting of major oil producers who are expected to discuss a proposal to curb crude production.
International Brent crude oil futures were trading at US$50.39 (RM211.62) per barrel at 0033 GMT, down 8 cents from their last close.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery dropped $1.02 to $48.70 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Although the price collapse led to a massive cut in oil investment, production was slow to respond, keeping supply in excess.
Brazil will attend the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries gathering Saturday in Vienna as the bloc that pumps about 40 percent of world output seeks non-member cooperation on curbing production.
"It seems the OPEC meeting will still be the focus of the market in a month's time, so expect the headlines regarding Iran and Iraq production to set the tone for a while yet", said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Investor Services (FIS). Low oil prices dried up money for such oil operations, and that cut USA production.
Russian Federation - the biggest oil producer outside OPEC - has agreed to play a part in stabilizing the markets and is discussing different options including a freeze in output, according to the Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
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Oil futures reversed almost all of Thursday's gain ahead of today's oil rig count and failed to gain ground after it was reported by oil field services company Baker Hughes that the number of rigs drilling for oil in the US fell by two in the past week to 441, ending a recent trend of increases.
Although it has not been officially communicated, there has been a basic general understanding that only conflict-torn Libya and Nigeria, as well as post-sanctions Iran, would be given leeway while others are left to cut production.
"If they will fail to deliver in November, the market will sell off very hard and I think they know that", said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects. "The fact is, that there is a certain seasonality in oil production in the Middle East countries, especially in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait: there is a higher oil demand during summer".
Seoul and Wellington each fell more than one percent, while Singapore was also sharply lower.
Gasoline futures fell 1.8 cents, or 1.21%, to $1.4691 a gallon.
Prices are now hovering at around US$50 per barrel after hitting a 10-year low of less than $30 in January, down from a peak of more than $100 in mid-2014.
For example, Iraq told OPEC its production in September was 4.775 million bpd, while secondary sources put the figure at 4.455 million bpd.