Oil prices tumbled for a second session on Monday after the head of the world’s top exporter Saudi Aramco said it was ready to ramp up production, while production at several offshore US Gulf of Mexico platforms took a brief hit last week. Restarting after outage.
Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.3 per cent, to $97.88 a barrel after falling 1.5 per cent on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was down 22 cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $91.87 a barrel after falling 2.4 per cent in the previous session.
Saudi Aramco is ready to increase crude oil production to a maximum of 12 million barrels per day (bpd) if requested by the Saudi Arabian government, Chief Executive Amin Nasser told reporters on Sunday.
“We are confident of our ability to increase our production by 12 million bpd any time we ask the government or the Ministry of Power,” Nasser said. He said the easing of COVID-19 restrictions by China and a pickup in the aviation industry could add to the demand.
Investors await economic data from China on Monday for signs of demand from the world’s top crude oil importer.
Oil prices jumped more than 3 percent last week, as a damaged oil pipeline component disrupted production at several offshore Gulf of Mexico platforms.
A Louisiana official said manufacturers had moved to reactivate some halted production after repairs were completed late Friday.
Energy services firm Baker Hughes Co. reported Friday that the number of US oil rigs surged by 3 to 601 last week. Rig count, an early indicator of future production, has been slow to rise with oil production only seen recovering from pandemic-related cuts next year.
Global oil markets were supported by tight supplies this winter due to EU sanctions on supplies of Russian crude and refined products.