Reuters – Oil prices fell on Monday as last week’s rise in the US rig count pointed to a further increase in American production that could undermine OPEC-led efforts to tighten markets.
A statement by Kuwait’s oil minister that OPEC and other oil producers will study before June next year the possibility of exiting their global oil supply-cut agreement also weighed on prices, traders said.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were down or 0.55% as at 0911 GMT, trading at $63.05 a barrel.
“The largest concern for investors currently remains the rise in the US rig count, which could potentially jeopardise the OPEC and Russian agreement when they meet for a review in June 2018,” said Shane Chanel, equities and derivatives adviser at ASR Wealth Advisers.
The number of rigs drilling for new oil output in the United States rose by two in the week to December 8, to 751, the highest level since September, General Electric Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.
A higher rig count points to a further rise in US crude production, which is already up by more than 15% since mid-2016 to 9.71 million barrels per day (bpd).