Russian Energy Minister: Oil Could Still Drop To $30


A pumpjack is seen at the Sinopec-operated Shengli oil field in Dongying, Shandong province, China January 12, 2017.

Brent crude futures, the global benchmark for oil prices, were down 87 cents, or 1.4 percent, at $61.42 a barrel by 0231 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were down $1.39, or 2.6%, to $51.88 a barrel.

The price of Brent oil was $63.29 and US WTI crude was $53.99.

Gasoline stocks also increased more than expected. The meeting will help decide the fate of crude oil prices.

Addressing to Saudi energy minister's comment on OPEC+ output cut, an analyst at futures brokerage at FXTM, Han Tan said, "Brent futures continue rising. after the Saudi Arabian Energy Minister expressed confidence that OPEC+ producers will prolong their output cuts program through the second half of 2019". -China trade tensions continued to threaten demand for crude and as major producers Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation had yet to agree on extending an output-cutting deal. US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was holding up a trade deal with China.

Hedge fund managers are liquidating bullish oil positions at the fastest rate since the fourth quarter of 2018.

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The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-members, including Russian Federation, known collectively as OPEC+, have withheld supplies since the start of the year to prop up prices.

Oil prices rose on Tuesday in line with firmer financial markets and bolstered by expectations that producer group OPEC and its allies will keep withholding supply.

Brent gained $3, ending three weeks of bearishness as Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation, leaders of a global alliance to balance oil markets, vowed to keep cuts in place for the second half of the year.

"The sell off in recent weeks shows how vulnerable the market is and it may force Russia's hand in extending the deal", said Warren Patterson, head of commodities strategy at ING.

OPEC is close to reaching an agreement to extend the production cut deal beyond June, al-Falih said on Friday from Russian Federation, adding that the sticking point is now to calibrate the cuts with the non-OPEC group of producers led by Moscow.