(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) Oil prices extended losses on Friday on worries about a
potential oversupply after U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm
said refilling the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) may
take several years, trend reports with reference to reuters .
Brent crude fell 24 cents, or 0.32%, to $75.67 a barrel by 0412
GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures slipped 24
cents, 0.34%, to $69.72 a barrel.
Both benchmarks, which fell about 1% on Thursday, were still on
track for a weekly gain of about 3%-4%, recovering from their
biggest weekly declines in months last week due to the banking
sector crisis and worries about a possible recession.
"There is a sell-off from the view that the United States will
not refill oil reserve even if the WTI prices are at $67-$72 a
barrel," said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at
The White House said in October it would buy back oil for the
SPR when prices were at or below about $67-$72 per barrel.
Granholm told lawmakers that it would be difficult to take
advantage of the low prices this year to add to stockpiles, which
are currently at their lowest level since 1983 following sales
directed by President Joe Biden last year.
Nissan Securities' Kikukawa said continued crude supply from
Russia to the global market was also weighing on oil which,
together with a lingering anxiety about the banking sector, could
push benchmarks to test their lows hit earlier this week.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak said a previously
announced cut of 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in Russia's oil
production would be from an output level of 10.2 million bpd in
February, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.
That would mean Russia is aiming to produce 9.7 million bpd
between March and June, when the production cut will be in force,
according to Novak - a much smaller reduction in output than Moscow
The oil price downside was, however, cushioned by strong demand
expectations from China, with Goldman Sachs saying commodities
demand was surging in China, the world's biggest oil importer, with
oil demand topping 16 million bpd.
The bank forecast Brent would reach $97 a barrel in the second
quarter of 2024.
A more than 1% decline in the dollar in the past week, which
makes commodities priced in the greenback cheaper for holders of
other currencies, capped downside price pressures.