Oil prices were moving lower on Monday as concerns over demand and data showing higher rig counts in the U.S. overshadowed speculation that supplies will tighten.
Global benchmark Brent crude dropped 61 cents or 0.85 percent to $70.94 a barrel, after having closed up 1 percent on Friday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 58 cents or 0.9 percent at $63.31 per barrel.
According to Baker Hughes data released on Friday, U.S. energy companies last week increased the number of oil rigs operating for a second week in a row.
Additionally, demand concerns linger as China’s economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low of 6.2 percent this year.
Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies will meet in June to decide whether to extend a pact for reducing output by 1.2 million bpd.
OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, plans to stick with the output cuts, but reports suggest that it could raise output from July if disruptions continue elsewhere.
The chairman of the Libyan National Oil Corp, Mustafa Sanalla, warned on Friday that renewed fighting could wipe out crude production in the country.
Separately, Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov was quoted as saying by the TASS news agency that Russia and OPEC may decide to boost production to fight for market share with the United States but this would push oil prices as low as $40 per barrel.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com