Oil Slides Toward Worst Loss in a Decade as Russia Mixes Signals

Oil Slides Toward Worst Loss in a Decade as Russia Mixes Signals

Alberta is working to buy rail cars to help ship more crude as pipeline bottlenecks have the oil-rich province grappling with historic low prices.

Oil toiled at a more than one-year low at the end of November, its worst month in a decade.

With this in view, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), of which both Nigeria and Saudi Arabia belong, has been considering the best way to stabilise the market.

Attention later in the session will focus on the new round of US inventory data to see if it reinforces expectations of an emerging supply glut.

He said at the time that supply could exceed demand by as much as 1 million barrels per day (bpd), or 1 percent of global demand, suggesting that OPEC and its allies may try to reduce production by that amount.

Crude oil price remained in a major downtrend and it recently traded below the $53.00 and $52.00 support levels.

Just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia was comfortable with the current level of oil prices at around $60 a barrel, and also thanked Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the OPEC-Russia cooperation in managing the oil market.

Brent for January settlement, which expires Friday, advanced 48 cents to $59.24/bbl on London's ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Another factor that would hold prices down is the rise in USA inventory. However, the Saudi Arabian minister was less confident than previously, and he did not specify an actual cut in oil production.

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"Putin's comments raised speculation that Russian Federation may not join its fellow producers in curbing production", Sungchil Will Yun, Seoul-based commodity analyst at HI Investment & Futures, said by phone.

Russia's energy ministry is discussing potential oil production cuts with local producers and will continue talks to come up with a position by the OPEC/non-OPEC meeting in early December, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said last week.

OPEC and its partners, including Russian Federation, are scheduled to meet in Vienna next week to decide on production targets.

The outcome of next week's OPEC meeting "remains clouded by uncertainty", Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM told Bloomberg.

Oil retreated from session highs after the U.S. Federal Reserve released minutes of the latest policy meeting showing interest rate hikes are expected soon.

Moscow has so far resisted joining any new production cuts and Falih did not say whether he had heard of any change in Russia's position.

United States crude inventories have hit their highest in a year after a tenth consecutive weekly increase, and are now only 80 million barrels below March 2017's record 535 million barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration.

USA energy firms this week added oil rigs for a third week in four and increased the rig count for the fifth month in a row, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

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