Oil prices fall amid fears of supply boost, weaker demand

An oil pump jack pumps oil in a field near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, July 21, 2014. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Crude oil prices skidded on Monday, under pressure from expectations of higher supplies and weakening demand.

Brent crude futures fell 55 cents to $81.62 a barrel, as of 0705 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 46 cents to $80.33 a barrel.

Both markets have dropped for the last three weeks, hit by a strengthening dollar and speculation that President Joe Biden’s administration might release oil from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve to cool prices.

“The White House has been debating how to tackle higher inflation, with some officials calling for the strategic reserve to be tapped, or halting U.S. exports,” ANZ analysts said in a report, according to Reuters.

U.S. energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a third week in a row with crude prices hovering near a seven-year high, prompting some drillers to return to the wellpad.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose by six to 556 in the week to Nov. 12, its highest level since April 2020, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said on Friday.

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