Crude oil futures plunged into bear market territory Tuesday amid reports that Nigeria and Libya are ramping up production. The two most vulnerable OPEC nations are exempt from the cartel’s supply quota deal with Russia. While some increases in production were expected, the pace of Libya’s output is particularly surprising.
Traders will be paying close attention to US stockpile data over the next few days. The American Petroleum Institute is out with industry figures tonight, while the Energy Information Administration releases its report tomorrow.
Baker Hughes said the US rig count rose by 6 to 747, the most since April 2015. Drillers have added rigs 20 weeks in a row, the longest streak on record.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said that non-OPEC production in 2018 would increase by 1.5 million barrels daily, outpacing demand. August WTI oil was down 92 cents, or 2.1%, to settle at USD43.51/bbl.
July WTI oil ended at USD43.23/bbl, down 97 cents, or 2.2%, on expiration day. The contract was down 20% in the past few weeks.