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Brent, WTI Prices Slide as Disruption Concerns Ease

Brent slid 30 cents at $75 a barrel.Brent slid 30 cents at $75 a barrel.

Oil prices slipped on Monday as concerns about supply disruptions eased and Libyan ports reopened while traders eyed potential supply increases by Russia and other oil producers.

But global supply remained tight with investors wary over the impact of production losses in several exporting countries, CNBC reported.

“There are mixed supply signals,” said Kim Kwang-rae, analyst at Samsung Futures.

Brent crude slid 30 cents at $75.03 a barrel. US light crude was down 50 cents at $70.51.

Supply outages in Libya, a labor dispute in Norway and unrest in Iraq all helped push oil prices higher late last week, although prices still fell for a second straight week.

Russia and other oil producers may raise output by 1 million barrels per day or more if shortages hit the market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters on Friday.

“If we need more than 1 million bpd, I do not rule out that we can quickly discuss it and make a quick decision.”

Production at Libya’s giant Sharara Oilfield was expected to fall by at least 160,000 barrels per day after two staff were abducted in an attack by an unknown group, the National Oil Corporation said on Saturday.

A Norwegian union for workers on offshore oil and gas drilling rigs on Monday stepped up a six-day strike that has hit oil output.

Investors are also on edge over the impact of trade dispute between the United States and its big trading partners.

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin are set to hold their first standalone meeting in Helsinki on Monday. Trump has been vocal about his dissatisfaction with higher oil prices, asking OPEC to lower prices.

Stephen Innes at futures brokerage OANDA said US-China trade tensions “should subside this week and could be a possible plus for oil prices”, but a possible sale of US oil reserves would hurt prices.

 

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