Oil prices nosedive amid rising United States drilling

Oil prices fell yesterday, with already-bloated markets pressured by rising U.S. drilling activity and steady supplies from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) despite touted production cuts.

Futures lost as much as 1.9 percent in NY after gaining 0.6 percent last week. The deal was the first of its kind in eight years and included nearly a dozen outsider nations that agreed to cut an additional 600,000 barrels of production. USA oil production has risen to over 9.1 million barrels per day from below 8.5 million barrels per day last June. While OPEC won't decide until May whether to prolong the curbs, energy ministers including Russia's Alexander Novak will meet this weekend in Kuwait to discuss the deal's progress.

The deal has lifted oil prices, but inventories in industrial nations are rising and higher returns have encouraged US companies to pump more.

According to the source, the price for April Futures WTI oil fell by 0,82%, which is $48,38 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX).

The average daily production in March was 1.51 mln tonnes versus 1.532 mln tonnes last October [a factor of 7.33 was used for conversion into barrels - TASS].


Brent Crude Futures were 20 cents down from their last close, as recorded at 0025 GMT, and stand at $51.56 per barrel. Crude prices have fallen 8% over the last two weeks, the biggest weekly drop in four months, and some industry experts have suggested the decline could continue for some time yet. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.55 to May WTI.

The number of active US rigs drilling for oil rose for a ninth straight week-up 14 to 631 last week, according to data from Baker Hughes BHI, +1.39% released Friday.

The revival of shale oil production - whose growth added to the oversupply that battered oil prices in mid-2014 - has restrained the rally this year and may worry OPEC leaders.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is curbing its output by about 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd) from January 1 for six months, the first reduction in eight years.

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