Oil falls after failed N. Korean missile test, US rig count gains

This brought China's net oil product exports in March to 1.97 million mt, up 51.5% year on year and higher by 5.3% from February.

The Baker Hughes US weekly oil rig count has been steadily increasing to the current 662 rigs, which is the highest level since September 2015.

Prices fell as much as 1% in overnight trading. 13 non-members including Russian Federation vowed to extend cuts by an additional 558,000 barrels per day to ease a global glut.

Citigroup Inc. joined Goldman Sachs Group Inc.in backing commodities, saying it's the season to have faith in raw materials and oil will probably rally to the mid-$60s by the end of the year.

This gain and a surge in output by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in the fourth quarter had an effect that would "ultimately obstruct and for a period of time reverse the very rebalancing they were trying to accelerate", the analysts said.

Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 bpd starting from January 1, 2017 for six months, extendable for another six months, taking into account prevailing market conditions and prospects. American crude output climbed to the highest level in more than a year in the week ended April 7, according to the Energy Information Administration.

More barrels could be on their way to market from US shale fields as financial companies are investing billions in production, a Reuters analysis showed.

More news: North Korea may be capable of sarin-loaded missiles, Japanese PM warns

Total volume traded was about 36 per cent below the 100-day average. They settled 53c lower at $52,65 a barrel.

On London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent eased 0.79% to $55.45 a barrel. Before the weekend, gas prices rose an average of 12 cents in 19 days nationwide and by 13 cents in 18 days in Georgia.

The global benchmark traded at a premium of US$2.27 to WTI.

The incessant rise of rigs has led the Energy Information Administration to upgrade its USA oil production forecast for 2018 from 9.73 million barrels per day (bpd) in its March report to 9.9 million bpd in its latest report. On Tuesday, the energy minister of Opec member the United Arab Emirates said he saw healthy oil demand growth this year and believed inventories would fall. With European growth still "anemic", she said the US market is one of the main contributing factors to the price of oil.

On Monday, shortly before the Nymex settlement, a monthly report from the Energy Information Administration forecast a rise of 124,000 barrels a day in May to 5.193 million barrels a day for crude-oil production in seven major USA shale-oil plays.

Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the nation's biggest oil-storage hub, fell by 570,000 barrels last week, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Rita Burton