MTECHTIPS:-Oil struggles near 4-month lows amid rising U.S. rig count

MTECHTIPS:-Oil struggles near 4-month lows amid rising U.S. rig count

MTECHTIPS- Oil prices struggled near the lowest level since the end of November on Monday, as concern over rising shale production and record-high U.S. crude inventories offset optimism that OPEC and its allies have been following through on their commitment to cut production. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude April contract inched down 7 cents, or around 0.2%, to $48.42 a barrel by 9:20 AM ET (13:20 GMT). It fell to an overnight low of $47.90, a level not seen since November 30. Elsewhere, Brent oil for May delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London dipped 2 cents to $51.35 a barrel. The global benchmark touched a session low of $50.85 earlier, its cheapest since November 30. Concerns that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production could derail efforts by other major producers to re balance global oil supply and demand pressured crude prices. Data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes on Friday revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil rose by 8 last week, the eighth weekly increase in a row. That brought the total count to 617, the most since October 2015. Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday that crude supplies rose by 8.2 million barrels last week to yet another all-time high of 528.4 million. It was the ninth straight weekly build in U.S. stockpiles, feeding concerns about a global glut. Sentiment in oil markets in recent months has been torn between rising stockpiles and increased shale production in the U.S. and hopes that oversupply may be curbed by output cuts announced by major global producers.
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