Oil prices slump as OPEC and Russia consider output boost

Вид на хранилища нефти на заводе РД КМГ в Кызылординской области 21 января 2016 года. Цены на нефть снижаются, так как инвесторы не уверены, что производители нефти договорятся о совместных действиях. REUTERS/Shamil Zhumatov

Oil prices slumped lower on Friday after news that Russia and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries were discussing raising oil output by one million barrels per day (bpd).

Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., slumped 2.27% to $77.00 a barrel as of 10:02 AM ET (14:02 GMT). Meanwhile crude oil futures decreased 2.73% to $68.78 a barrel.

Oil prices have jumped over 70% in the last year due to a rise in demand and restricted supply by OPEC.

But OPEC and Russia could raise oil output by as much as one million bpd as soon as June after the White House raised concerns that oil prices were too high, Reuters reported.

Prices dipped lower after Saudi Arabia energy minister Khalid Al-Falih said the country was prepared to adjust its policy in June but did not confirm by how much output could increase. Saudi Arabia is concerned the de facto leader of OPEC.

OPEC has been cutting crude output by 1.8 million bpd to prop up oil prices. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018. The organization is set to meet in Vienna on June 22.

Prices were also held back by geopolitical concerns, including impeding U.S. sanctions against Iran, which produces 4% of global oil supplies. Elsewhere, U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled a planned summit with North Korea, increasing tensions in the region.

Investors were also looking ahead to inventory data later in the day. The weekly instalment of drilling activity from Baker Hughes will provide investors with fresh insight into U.S. oil production and demand.

Data last week showed the number of U.S. oil rigs steadied after rising for five weeks in a row.

In other energy trading, Gasoline RBOB Futures decreased 1.80% at $2.1933 a gallon, while heating oil fell 1.83% to $2.2252 a gallon. Natural gas futures was up 0.48% to $2.954 per million British thermal units.

Written By: Investing.com