Oil extended its decline as Venezuela predicted prices may drop as low as the mid-$20s a barrel unless the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries takes action to stabilize the market.
January futures fell as much as 1.1 percent in New York after front-month prices slid 0.9 percent last week. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are considering Venezuela’s proposal for an equilibrium price of $88 a barrel, Venezuelan Oil Minister Eulogio Del Pino told reporters Sunday in Tehran. OPEC should make room for increased Iranian crude production within its ceiling of 30 million barrels a day, the nation’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said.
Oil has slumped about 45 percent the past year amid speculation a global glut with persist as OPEC continues to pump above its collective quota. The 12-member group meets Dec. 4 in Vienna to discuss the production ceiling as Iran signals its intention to boost output by 1 million barrels a day within five to six months of economic sanctions being removed.
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery dropped as much as 47 cents to $41.43 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $41.59 at 8:41 a.m. Hong Kong time. The December contract expired Friday after declining 0.4 percent to close at $40.39, the lowest settlement since Aug. 26. The volume of all futures traded was about 43 percent above the 100-day average.