Oil prices drop on expectations OPEC could boost output – Reuters
Oil prices fell on Thursday on expectations that OPEC members will step up production in the face of worries over supply from both Venezuela and Iran.
A surprise build up in crude oil inventories in the United States also weighed on prices, driving the spread between Brent crude and U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) close to its widest in three years, as reported by Reuters.
International benchmark Brent LCOc1 futures were down 37 cents, or 0.46 percent, at $79.43 per barrel at 0610 GMT.
WTI crude CLc1 futures were down 27 cents, or 0.38 percent, at $71.57 a barrel.
The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) may decide to increase oil output to make up reduced supply from Iran and Venezuela in response to concerns from Washington over a rally in oil prices, OPEC and oil industry sources told Reuters.
Supply concerns in Iran and Venezuela following new U.S. sanctions had pushed both Brent and WTI to multi-year highs, with Brent breaking through an $80 threshold last week for the first time since November 2014.
OPEC and some non-OPEC major oil producers are scheduled to meet in Vienna on June 22. The group previously agreed to curb their output by about 1.8 million barrels per day to boost oil prices and clear a supply glut.