Oil falls as investors take profit; supply fear still looms

FILE PHOTO: A maze of crude oil pipes and valves is pictured during a tour by the Department of Energy at the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Freeport, Texas, U.S. June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Richard Carson – S1AETIZMOIAB/File Photo

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices fell on Monday, paring early gains as investors took profit following a surge in the proviso session, albeit in the shadow of supply fear as the European Union prepares an import ban on Russian crude and with limited increase in OPEC output.

Brent crude futures were down 68 cents at $110.9 a barrel at 0927 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 40 cents lower at $110.1 a barrel.

“Investors scooped up profit after a sharp gain last Friday,” Reuters quoted Naohiro Niimura, a partner at Market Risk Advisory, as saying.

“Still, with a planned ban by the EU on Russian oil and slow increase in OPEC output, oil prices are expected to stay close to the current levels near $110 a barrel until they head lower late this year due to weakening global demand,” he added.

The European Union aims to agree a phased embargo on Russian oil this month despite concerns about supply in eastern Europe, four diplomats and officials said on Friday, according to Reuters.

They rejects suggestions of a delay or watering down proposals

Elsewhere OPEC+ – the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies including Russia – has been undershooting previously agreed plans for output increases due to under-investment in oilfields in some OPEC members and, more recently, losses in Russian output.

The latest monthly report from OPEC showed its output in April rose by 153,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 28.65 million bpd, lagging the 254,000 bpd rise that OPEC is allowed under the OPEC+ deal, Reuters reported.

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