Crude futures settle lower as US supply concerns return


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    Investing.com - Crude settled lower on Monday, despite reports that OPEC could extend its deal to cut production with non-members beyond June, while investors continued to fret about the growing levels of U.S. oil production and inventories.

    On the New York Mercantile Exchange crude futures for May delivery lost 56 cents to settle at $48.22 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent lost 14 cents to settle at $51.63 a barrel.

    Oil prices rebounded from session lows sustained in early morning trade, after insider sources from within OPEC said Monday, that OPEC oil producers increasingly favour extending its deal to cut oil production beyond June but expressed the need for Russia and other non-members to remain part of the initiative.

    "An extension is needed to balance the market," an OPEC delegate said. "Any extension of the cut agreement should be with non-OPEC."

    Meanwhile, growing U.S. oil production and inventories weighed on sentiment, as investors braced for a fresh batch of U.S. crude inventories data later this week while the number of active U.S. rigs rose for a ninth straight week.

    Oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported Friday, its weekly U.S. rig count rose by 14 to 631, it was the ninth straight weekly increase, and fuelled concerns that U.S. shale production could dampen OPEC efforts to combat the supply and demand imbalance in the industry.

    Meanwhile, investors braced for a fresh batch of weekly data from the Energy Information Agency (EIA) due to be released on Wednesday, March 22 at 10:30 EDT.

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