Investing.com - Oil prices were under slight pressure in European trading on Monday, holding near the lowest in around seven weeks as concerns over a steady increase in U.S. production added to fears over a glut in the market.
The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude July contract was at $44.77 a barrel by 3:35AM ET (0735GMT), down 19 cents, or around 0.4%. Elsewhere, Brent oil for August delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London shed 14 cents to $47.23 a barrel.
WTI lost $1.13, or about 2.4%, last week, while Brent fell 78 cents, or roughly 1.6%.
Both have now posted losses four weeks in a row, which marks the longest weekly losing streak since August 2015 for WTI, amid concern that the ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production is derailing efforts by other major producers to rebalance the market.
Energy services company Baker Hughes said on Friday that U.S. drillers last week added rigs for the 22nd week in a row, the longest such streak on record, implying that further gains in domestic production are ahead.
The U.S. rig count rose by six to 747, extending a year-long drilling recovery to the highest level since April 2015.
The increase in U.S. drilling activity and shale production has mostly offset efforts by OPEC and other producers to cut output in a move to prop up the market.
Last month, OPEC and some non-OPEC producers extended a deal to cut 1.8 million barrels per day in supply until March 2018.
So far, the production-cut agreement has had little impact on global inventory levels due to rising supply from producers not participating in the accord, such as Libya and Nigeria, and a relentless increase in U.S. shale oil output.
In the week ahead, market participants will eye fresh weekly information on U.S. stockpiles of crude and refined products on Tuesday and Wednesday to gauge the strength of demand in the world’s largest oil consumer.
Meanwhile, traders will also continue to pay close attention to comments from global oil producers for evidence that they are complying with their agreement to reduce output this year.
Natural gas futures for July delivery slumped 8.3 cents to $2.954 per million British thermal units.
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