As fears regarding disrupted oil supplies eased, the oil prices fell on Monday, July 16, 2018. Libyan ports resumed their exports in addition to potential supply increase from Russia and other oil producers.
Brent crude futures were down 48 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $74.85 a barrel at 0302 GMT.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was down 39 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $70.62 a barrel.
Last week witnessed higher oil prices due to supply outage from Libya and strike action in Norway and Iraq. Even then, the previous two weeks have been ending in reduced oil prices.
The market has been very optimistic lately, only eyeing the expected increases in oil supply while a Norwegian union for workers on offshore oil and gas drilling rigs stepped up a six-day strike.
“Crude oil prices fell as fears of supply disruptions eased. News that Libya’s state oil producer had restarted output from a major oil field ignited the selloff earlier in the week,” ANZ Bank said in a note.
“There are mixed supply signals and I think the (Brent) price is likely to be in the low-to-mid $70s range,” said Kim Kwang-rae, commodity analyst at Samsung Futures in Seoul.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak believes that Russia and other major oil producers may increase output further, should supply shortages hit the global oil market.