U.S. crude oil fell below $50 for first time in two weeks.
Brent and U.S. crude oil prices tumbled more than 2 percent on Friday. This was the biggest weekly decline in more than a month. Furthermore, there is mounting evidence that U.S. production and inventory growth were offsetting OPEC’s attempts to reduce the global crude glut.
On Friday Brent futures LCOc1 settled at $51.96 a barrel, down $1.03, or 2 percent at the market’s close. U.S. crude futures CLc1 ended at $49.62 a barrel. This was down 2.2 percent, or $1.09.
For the week, Brent fell 7 percent, while U.S. crude lost 6.7 percent. It was the largest percentage drop for both benchmarks since the week of March 10, when rising concern about the supply glut undermined big bets on an oil rally.
Many still expect the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to renew its production cuts for another six months. However, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak declined to say whether Russia would adhere to an extension.
U.S. production looks likely to keep rising. The U.S. producers are already at their highest level since August 2015. And it appears that U.S. production will keep rising. U.S. drillers added rigs for a 14th consecutive week.