Oil prices eased off 2016 highs, as rising supplies softened concerns about production disruptions in Nigeria and Canada.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, slumped 0.1 per cent to $49.2 per barrel today. Meanwhile, West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, was flat at $48.3.
Exports from Iran are expected to jump to 2.1m barrels per day in May, nearly 60 per cent more than a year ago. European shipments shipments should recover to about half of their pre-sanction levels, Reuters reported.
This overshadowed unexpected supply outages in Nigeria and Canada amounting to two million barrels per day, which helped Brent and WTI crude soar to year-to-date highs of $49.8 and $48.8 per barrel, respectively in intra-day trading yesterday.
The US Energy Information Administration's weekly report due out at 2.30pm is expected to show oil supplies dropped by 2.9m barrels. The American Petroleum Institute said yesterday that US oil inventories fell by 1.2m barrels last week.
"Should Canada begin to pump more earlier than expected then this recent surge may turn out to be a mere blip," Brenda Kelly, head analyst at London Capital Group, said.