Oil dropped the most in three weeks after government data showed that U.S. crude inventories climbed.
Futures have slumped almost 40 percent in the past year amid speculation the global glut will be prolonged as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries continues to pump above its quota. Oil may never rise to $100 a barrel again, said Vitol Group, the world’s largest independent oil trader. Shipments from a Libyan port were halted Tuesday amid a dispute between the nation’s two rival administrations, while a strike crimped Brazilian output.
West Texas Intermediate for December delivery slipped $1.49, or 3.1 percent, to $46.41 a barrel at 1:31 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. WTI is heading for the biggest drop since Oct. 12. The volume of all futures traded was 6.4 percent above the 100-day average.
Brent for December settlement fell $1.90, or 3.8 percent, to $48.64 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude traded at a $2.23 premium to WTI.