Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 60 cents, or 1.14
percent, at $51.82 a barrel at 1113 GMT. They traded as low as
$51.56 a barrel earlier in the day.
U.S. crude futures <CLc1> were down 55 cents, or 1.11 percent,
at $49.03 per barrel, but up from the day's low of $48.78 a
Both contracts stood more than $1 below the levels hit last
week, which marked their highest since late May, when oil
producers led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries extended a deal to reduce output by 1.8 million
barrels per day (bpd) until the end of next March.
Doubts have since swirled around the effectiveness of the cuts,
as OPEC output hit a 2017 high in July and its exports hit a
"The market is looking for comment from Saudi Arabia signaling
OPEC will meet its agreed target," said Hans van Cleef, senior
energy economist with ABN AMRO. "The possibility for (price)
movement seems limited unless OPEC comes out with a statement."
Officials from a joint OPEC and non-OPEC technical committee are
meeting in Abu Dhabi on Monday and Tuesday to discuss ways to
boost compliance with the deal.
The OPEC concerns were more than enough to outweigh a protests
at Libya's Sharara oilfield, which led to a brief shutdown
starting late on Sunday. The country's National Oil Corp. said
production at the 270,000 bpd field was restarting on Monday.
High oil output in the United States was counteracting other
bullish factors, including a Baker Hughes report on Friday that
showed a cut of one drilling rig in the week to Aug. 4, bringing
the total count down to 765. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>
U.S. weekly oil production hit 9.43 million bpd in the week to
July 28, the highest since August 2015 and up 12 percent from
its most recent low in June last year. <C-OUT-T-EIA>
Still, some analysts said strong words from OPEC could help
shore up prices.
"The negative price impact at the start of the week coming from
OPEC and compliance focus will probably dissipate," said SEB
Markets chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.
"Saudi Arabia will restate that they will export only 6.6
million bpd (six-year low) in August and inventories will
continue to draw down."
(Additional reporting by Jane Chung in Seoul and Henning
Gloystein in Singapore; editing by David Evans and Jason Neely)
[© 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2017 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.