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Oil prices tumble on US data

LONDON, February 9, 2018 – Crude oil prices continued to tumble on Thursday, as concerns over rising U.S. production continued to weigh heavily on the commodity.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude March contract was down 77 cents or about 1.32% at $60.38 a barrel by 04:00 a.m. ET (08:00 GMT), the lowest since January 3.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for April delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London declined 89 cents or about 1.34% to $63.91 a barrel, the lowest since December 20.

Oil prices were hit after data showed that U.S. oil production topped the 10 million barrels per day (bpd) mark last week.

Domestic oil production, driven by shale extraction, rose 3.3% to an all-time high of 10.25 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. That figure is above that of top exporter Saudi Arabia and within reach of Russia’s output levels.

 

The commodity was also pressure lower by news U.S. commercial crude stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels in the week to February 2, to 420.25 million barrels.

That added to fears that rising U.S. output would dampen OPEC’s efforts to rid the market of excess supplies.

The producer group, along with some non-OPEC members led by Russia, agreed in December to extend oil output cuts until the end of 2018.

The deal to cut oil output by 1.8 million barrels a day (bpd) was adopted last winter by OPEC, Russia and nine other global producers. The agreement was due to end in March 2018, having already been extended once.

Separately, Iran announced plans on Thursday to increase production within the next four years by at least 700,000 barrels a day.

Elsewhere, gasoline futures lost 1.18% to $1.730 a gallon, while natural gas futures tumbled 2.42% to $2.628 per million British thermal units.

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