Investing.com - Comments from global oil producers for additional signals on whether they plan to exit their current production-cut agreement will remain at the forefront.
Crude prices plunged on Friday to finish at their lowest levels in weeks, as reports said OPEC and Russia are considering lifting production by as much as 1 million barrels a day as early as June to meet the shortfall in supply from Iran and Venezuela.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC producers led by Russia have been curbing output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices and reduce high global oil stocks. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018.
OPEC is scheduled to hold its next meeting on June 22 in Vienna.
New York-traded WTI crude futures dropped below $68 a barrel on Friday, slipping further from a peak of $72.83 scaled earlier in the week, its highest since November 2014.
The contract finished the session down $2.83, or 4%, at $67.88 a barrel, the lowest since May 3. Prices marked a weekly loss of roughly 5.3%, which was the first weekly slide in about a month.
Meanwhile, London-traded Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., sank $2.36, or 3%, on Friday to close at $76.47 a barrel. For the week, it ended down 2.6%, snapping a six-week winning streak.
The international benchmark for oil prices last week hit a 3½-year high of $80.50, also going back to November 2014.
Oil traders will also continue to weigh a steady increase in U.S. production levels in the week ahead as the rise in domestic drilling has been underscoring worries about rising U.S. output.
U.S. drillers added 15 oil rigs last week, bringing the total count to 859, the highest number since March 2015, General Electric (NYSE:GE)'s Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.
Domestic oil production - driven by shale extraction - is currently at an all-time high of 10.7 million bpd.
Only Russia currently produces more, at around 11 million bpd.
Fresh weekly data on U.S. commercial crude inventories on Wednesday and Thursday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer and how fast output levels will continue to rise will capture the market's attention.
The reports come out one day later than usual due to Monday's Memorial Day holiday.
Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of the main events likely to affect the oil market.
Markets in the U.S. will remain closed on Monday for Memorial Day.
The American Petroleum Institute is to publish its weekly report on U.S. oil supplies.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil stockpiles.
Baker Hughes will release weekly data on the U.S. oil rig count.
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