Oil falls below $70 as U.S. crude enters 'bear market'

OPEC output cuts likely next year

Oil headed for longest losing streak on record after falling into bear market

Futures tumbled 1.6 per cent Thursday, extending a decline from the October high to more than 20 per cent, meeting the common definition of a bear market.

Still, a return to oil production cuts by OPEC and its allies next year can not be ruled out, two OPEC sources said this week, to avert a possible supply glut. Prices are now hovering around their lowest in about nine months. The producers' group implemented a compliance of about 111% of its pledged cuts in September and has agreed to boost supply by restoring 100% compliance.

USA 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 US sanctions.

Brent futures for January settlement slid 79 cents to US$69.86 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

Oil prices fell to multi-month lows on Friday as global supply increased and investors anxious about the impact on fuel demand of lower economic growth and trade disputes.

"'Saudi Arabia realizes that there might be a need to reverse course next year and wants to look at the options, ' said a senior Saudi official".

The US, Russia and Saudi Arabia are pumping at or near record highs, producing more than 33 million barrels per day (bpd), a third of the world's oil. Nationwide stockpiles rose by 5.8 million barrels, exceeding the 2 million-barrel gain expected in a Bloomberg survey.

Fresh figures from the U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) show field production widening to 11.8K b/d from 11.2K b/d in the week ending October 26, but the updates continue to reflect waning demand for crude as inventories jump another 5783K in the week ending November 2.

OPEC and Russian Federation are set to discuss oil production cuts again, less than a month after both Alexander Novak and Khalid al-Falih assured markets they will ramp up production to offset any supply losses after USA sanctions against Iran came into effect.

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