Investing.com – Oil prices were holding near six-week lows on Tuesday as U.S. investors returning from the long holiday weekend weighed the possibility of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia , while increasing U.S. shale output also dampened sentiment.
New York-traded fell $0.94, or about 1.4%, to $66.94 a barrel by 10:26AM ET (14:26GMT), close to its lowest level since April 17.
The U.S. benchmark did not settle on Monday due to the Memorial Day holiday.
Meanwhile, , the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., recovered some lost territory. The barrel was last up 52 cents, or 0.6%, to $75.84, after hitting a three-week low of $74.49 in the prior session.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia were reported last week to consider lifting production to meet shortfalls from Iran and Venezuela, while Russian energy minister Alexander Novak said Saturday that a , the baseline for the current deal to cut output, was one of the options being discussed.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers led by Russia have been curbing output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to prop up oil prices and reduce high global oil stocks. The pact began in January 2017 and is set to expire at the end of 2018.
Novak stipulated that any decision would be made at the meetings of OPEC and non-OPEC countries in Vienna on June 22-23.
Also weighing on crude prices, the latest weekly data on U.S. drilling, released prior to the long weekend, showed that production continued to escalate. U.S. drillers added 15 oil rigs last week, bringing the total count to , the highest number since March 2015, underscoring worries about rising U.S. output.
Domestic oil production – driven by shale extraction – has already surged by more than 27% in the last two years, to an all-time high of 10.73 million barrels per day, leaving the U.S. close on the heels of Russia’s leading 11 million bpd.
In other energy trading, rose 0.9% to $2.1538 a gallon by 10:27AM ET (14:27GMT), while 0.8% to $2.1875 a gallon.
Lastly, sank 2.6% to $2.886 per million British thermal units. The commodity was as updated forecasting models pointed to milder temperatures covering the eastern part of the United States by the second week of June, potentially limiting early summer cooling demand for the fuel.
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