Oil prices fell on Friday, dragged lower by persistent oversupply worries despite a bigger-than-expected drawdown in US crude inventories.
Investors were also keeping a close eye on the broad market impact of tensions between the United States and North Korea.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 32 cents, or 0.66 per cent, at $48.27 per barrel, reaching the lowest since July 26.
“Crude oil prices failed to hold recent gains, with a nervous market starting to doubt recent falls in inventories,” ANZ bank said in a note.
Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump stepped up his rhetoric against North Korea again on Thursday, saying his earlier threat to unleash “fire and fury” on Pyongyang if it launched an attack may not have been tough enough.
Official data showed crude inventories in the United States, the world’s top oil consumer, fell sharply by 6.5 million barrels in the week ending to Aug. 4, as refiners ramped up run rates to the highest in 12 years due to strong demand.
OPEC said its oil output rose by 173,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) in July to 32.87 million bpd.
Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said the kingdom does not rule out additional oil production cut, the Saudi-owned Al Sharq Al Awsat newspaper reported on Friday.
Rising output from Nigeria and Libya is further undermining the oil producers’ attempt to limit oil production. Nigeria and Libya are exempted from curbing output as they seek to restore supplies hurt by internal conflicts.