WTI falls on threat of OPEC boost, funds quit crude

Oil prices fall as supply from top three producers set to rise

US crude futures fell $1.15, or 1.7%, to $66.73 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange in a fifth straight session of losses-their longest streak since February-as traders returned from the Memorial Day holiday.

Falling stocks and a stronger USA dollar index also weighed on prices. The country's oil production is crumbling due to the economic crisis, and new sanctions can further deteriorate its output.

The prices were on a roller coaster after data from EIA showed that United States crude inventories rose 5.8 million barrels last week and gasoline stocks increased by 1.9 million barrels.

Additionally, ongoing disruptions in economically fragile OPEC member Venezuela and potential losses from fellow group member Iran because of renewed US sanctions on the Islamic Republic are likely to partially offset this higher supply, the bank said.

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Crude oil storage tanks are seen from above at the Cushing oil hub, appearing to run out of space to contain a historic supply glut that has hammered prices, in Cushing, Oklahoma, March 24, 2016.

News reports last week said producers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-slide-as-opec-russia-mull-output-increase-2018-05-25) were considering the possibility of pumping as much as 1 million more barrels of oil a day. Thus it is in the direct interest of the Saudis to maintain oil at a high price. What's going on in the global oil market to trigger this decline, which is welcomed the world over by energy consumers?

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) is due to meet in Vienna on June 22.

The value of the energy sector on the ASX fell more than 3 per cent and slashed oil and gas companies market caps by $3 billion, marking the worst trading day for these companies since February 6 this year, when values fell just over 4 per cent.

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Concern that Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation could boost output has put downward pressures on oil prices, as has rising oil production in the US.

"The market was not prepared for Opec to get ready to return supply that soon", said Jens Naervig Pedersen, a senior analyst at Danske Bank A/S in Copenhagen.

Despite worries over Iranian and Venezuelan oil, there are many solutions for the global supply system to fill the gap and prevent any supply constraints. USA crude CLc1 was up 40 cents at $67.13.

The creation of strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) is founded on several joint global studies, the DoE's Oil Industry Management Bureau said. Although US oil exports hit a record high of 2.6mn bpd in the middle of May, there is concern that the US port infrastructure has insufficient capacity to support the increasing supply.

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Today, current price levels averaging around $60 to $70 per barrel allow shale oil producers to reinvest in drilling wells and add capacity with free cash flow rather than debt, according to Slaughter.

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