OIL PRICE: ABOVE $49
REUTERS, BLOOMBERG - Brent crude tumbled below $50 on Friday, heading for a second straight week of losses, on worries that U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to abandon a climate pact could spark more crude drilling in the United States, worsening a global glut.
Benchmark Brent crude futures LCOc1 were off by nearly 3 percent at $49.14 per barrel at 1034 GMT (6:34 a.m. ET), down $1.49 from the previous close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 futures fell $1.45 cents to $46.91 per barrel.
Both contracts were on track for weekly losses of more than 5 percent.
The U.S. withdrawal from the landmark 2015 global agreement to fight climate change drew condemnation from Washington's allies - and sparked fears that U.S. oil production could expand even more rapidly.
"I think we will see a United States that is about to go crazy in terms of producing fossil fuels," said Matt Stanley, a fuel broker at Freight Services International in Dubai, adding other producers could do the same. "Why wouldn't they ramp up production when producers like the U.S. have an open invite to do as they please?"
U.S. crude production last week was up by nearly 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from year-earlier levels, straining OPEC's efforts to reduce global oversupply.
A week ago, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and a number of non-OPEC producers met in Vienna to extend a deal to cut 1.8 million bpd from the market until March 2018.
On Friday, Igor Sechin, chief of Russia's largest oil producer, Rosneft, said U.S. oil producers could add up to 1.5 million bpd to world oil output next year.
Oil prices are down some 10 percent since OPEC's May 25 decision to extend the cuts.
Rising output from OPEC members Nigeria and Libya, which are exempt from the output reduction deal, is also undercutting attempts to limit production.
OPEC last week discussed reducing output by a further 1 to 1.5 percent, and could revisit the proposal should inventories remain high, sources told Reuters.
On Friday, demand for bearish puts expiring in March 2018 spiked, indicating traders and investors are already protecting against a more aggressive drop in price once OPEC's joint supply deal expires.
Still, oil markets received some support from official U.S. data which showed crude inventories fell sharply last week as refining and exports surged to record highs.
Crude stockpiles were down by 6.4 million barrels in the week to May 26, compared with analysts' expectations for a fall of 2.5 million barrels.
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API - American Petroleum Institute reported that the first four months of this year saw U.S. petroleum demand average 750 thousand barrels a day above the same period in 2017 despite higher prices, a sign of solid economic activity. April also saw the U.S. produce a record 10.5 million barrels per day (MBD) of oil.
IMF - “Egypt’s growth has continued to accelerate during 2017/18, rising to 5.2 percent in the first half of the year from 4.2 percent in 2016/17. The current account deficit has also declined sharply, reflecting the recovery in tourism and strong growth in remittances, while improved investor confidence has continued to support portfolio inflows. In addition, gross international reserves rose to $44 billion by end-April, equal to 7 months of imports.
BAKER HUGHES A GE - U.S. Rig Count is up 1 rig from last week to 1,046, with oil rigs unchanged at 844, gas rigs up 1 to 200, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 2. Canada Rig Count is up 4 rigs from last week to 83, with oil rigs up 6 to 38 and gas rigs down 2 to 45.
REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were at $79.57 per barrel at 0310 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.3 percent from their last close. Brent broke through $80 for the first time since November 2014 on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $71.62 a barrel, up 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last settlement.