India's aims to sign pact with Iran this month

Secretary Jeremy Hunt

In the space of about a month, oil has gone from riding a rocket toward $100 to slumping into a bear market.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 82 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $59.85 by 9:03 a.m. ET (1403 GMT).

Oil rose as Opec and its allies were said to plan discussions about fresh production cuts next year, responding to recent increases in oil inventories amid surging United States supply. US crude production has accelerated to new records, OPEC output is at the highest in years and waivers will allow some Iranian crude to flow to the market despite USA sanctions. "OPEC and Russian Federation may use cuts to support $70 per barrel", said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

The Financial Times on Friday reported more crude oil could also be coming from Iraq, with a deal close between its federal government and the Kurdistan Regional Government to restart exports from the disputed territory of Kirkuk.

The record USA production has been a moderating factor of oil prices, although oil got a bump on Thursday after record Chinese crude imports eased concerns that a slowdown in the world's No.2 economy could stoke an emerging fuel glut. -China trade war will damp fuel demand as supply grows from multiple directions. Tehran worries OPEC and non-OPEC countries such as Russian Federation will increase their production to fill the gap in response.

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America has already overtaken Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia to become the world's largest producer and figures from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) suggest it was averaging 11.6 million barrels per day last week. WTI is down 21 percent since settling at $76.41 a barrel on October 3, meeting the common definition of a bear market.

Oil rebounded to $73 a barrel on Wednesday after falling to its lowest since August, supported by a report that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia are discussing oil output cuts in 2019.

That would be the first time Brent has fallen below $70 since April. The global benchmark crude traded at a $10.01 premium to WTI for the same month.

The Americans have shown this year that they are capable of ramping up production by more than the Saudis can cut it. The drop comes days before the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries meets with partners in Abu Dhabi, having signalled it may cut output next year.

The January futures for Brent on London's ICE Futures exchange at 12:21 in Kyiv fell by $0,84 (1,19%) to $69,81 per barrel. Domestic production surged to a record 11.6 million barrels a day, while stockpiles at the key storage hub in Cushing, Oklahoma, climbed by 2.42 million barrels.

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