Oil battered anew on concerns about Russia, OPEC supply rise

Oil prices slumped anew on Monday, with investors nervous about the prospect of major oil producers such as Russia and Saudi Arabia boosting production, and as U.S. output also showed signs of picking up.

July West Texas Intermediate crude oil
CLN8, -1.71%
fell $1.35, or 2%, to $66.54 a barrel in electronic trading. On Friday, oil slumped 4% to settle at $67.88 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That was the lowest finish for a most-active contract since May 1, according to FactSet data.

Oil will not trade in the U.S. on Monday in observance of Memorial Day.

Prices marked a weekly loss of roughly 4.9%, which was the first weekly slide in about a month.

Read: Drop in oil prices wont rescue drivers from $3-a-gallon gas for Memorial Day

July Brent oil, the international benchmark
LCON8, -1.58%
dropped $1.25, or 1.6%, to $75.19 a barrel in electronic trading. On Friday, prices fell $2.35, or 3%, to $76.44 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe, for the lowest settlement since May 8 and slid 2.6% for the week.

Beyond the prospect of those part of the production-cap deal led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries agreeing to higher output, was Friday afternoons disclosure that active U.S. oil-drilling rigs rose by the most since February the past week, said Phillip Futures Benjamin Lu.

Baker Hughes
BHGE, -2.72%
on Friday reported that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil was up 15 at 859 this week. That was the largest weekly rise since the week ended Feb. 9. That news, though, didnt add to Fridays price slump as U.S. output has already been at record highs.

Fridays slump followed media reports that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia are discussing plans to lift their production for the first time since 2016. Bloomberg said the major producers are considering pumping between 300,000 and 800,000 more barrels of oil a day, while Reuters said the number could be as high as 1 million barrels.

OPEC and a group of non-OPEC countries led by Russia have since January 2017 cut production in an effort to tackle the global supply glut that had pulled prices to multiyear lows. The global inventories are now close to OPECs target, helping lift prices to three-year highs in recent weeks. Plans

The plans to now lift production again come amid worries that Irans exports will decline after the U.S.s decision to pull out of the nuclear deal with Tehran and as output has collapsed in Venezuela.

Myra P. Saefong contributed to this article

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