Oil prices fell on Thursday after OPEC said its production had risen to the highest level in at least eight years and following reports of an increase in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $51.46 per barrel at 0645 GMT, down 35 cents, or 0.68 percent, from their previous close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 42 cents, or 0.84 percent, at $49.76 per barrel.
Traders said oil markets had come under pressure after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reported a rise in output, despite the producer cartel having plans, potentially with non-OPEC producer Russia, to cut production in a bid to rein in a global glut.
OPEC on Wednesday reported its oil production climbed in September to the highest in at least eight years, and raised its forecast for 2017 non-OPEC supply growth, pointing to a larger surplus next year despite the group’s proposal to cut output. The group pumped 33.39 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, up 220,000 bpd in August.
The Energy Information Administration is due to publish official storage inventory data later on Thursday. The private American Petroleum Institute reported on Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose by 2.7 million barrels to 470.9 million barrels in the week to Oct. 7. This would be the first rise in oil stocks following five straight weeks of declines.