Brent crude and WTI: Oil prices fall as hope over production cut fades

Jessica Morris
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Oil prices jumped yesterday after Russia hinted it would be willing to cut production (Source: Getty)

Oil prices wavered today, as soaring oil output coincided with dampened optimism around a possible production cut from some of the world's biggest producers, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russia.

Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 0.35 per cent to $33.77 per barrel, after ending 2.4 per cent higher yesterday. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, slumped 1.2 per cent to 32.82 per barrel, having settled at $32.22 yesterday.

Downward pressure came after a new Reuters survey showed Opec oil production jumped to its highest level in almost two decades this month, with Iran driving the largest increase in supply.

A top Iranian oil official also said that Iran wouldn't cooperate to cut oil production until its output returns to pre-sanctions levels, the Wall Street Journal reports.

It comes after Russia's deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, said that the state would not intervene to balance the market. However, he conceded that Russian production was likely to fall anyway as a result of lower investment.

Their comments poured cold water on hopes that Opec and Russia could reach a deal to curb production, easing the supply glut. The oil cartel has been holding production to defend its market share against the emergent US shale gas industry. Meanwhile, Russia remained steadfast in its refusal to cooperate over production.

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