Brent crude slumped to the lowest since mid-2004 amid speculation suppliers from the Middle East to the U.S. will exacerbate a glut as they fight for market share.
Futures fell 1.4 percent in London after a 2.8 percent drop last week. Producers are focusing on reducing costs amid the price decline, Qatar Energy Minister Mohammed Al Sada said Sunday at a gathering of Arab oil-exporting nations in Cairo. Drillers in the U.S. put the most rigs back to work since July, adding 17.
Oil has collapsed below levels last seen during the 2008 global financial crisis on signs the market’s oversupply will worsen. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned output limits at a Dec. 4 meeting, while the U.S. on Friday passed legislation that lifted a 40-year ban on crude exports.
Brent for February settlement dropped 53 cents to $36.35 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. It’s the lowest close since July 5, 2004. Prices are down 37 percent this year, set for a third annual loss.
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, which expired Monday, rose 1 cent to settle at $34.74 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It touched $33.98, the lowest level since Feb. 13, 2009. The more active February contract fell 25 cents to $35.81.