Prices for oil continue to hold on to the nine week highs despite lowering in Monday. The prices have been supported by robust US jobs data last week and a fall in the US Shale Oil rig count.
Investors and analysts are worried that the U.S. shale industry might be drilling too much, with wells placed too closely together. The result of excessive drilling in close proximity could be contributing to a decline of productivity, which would permanently hamper the recovery of oil from these wells.
Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 6 cents, or 0.11 percent, at $52.36 a barrel at 0309 GMT.
U.S. crude futures were down 7 cents, or 0.14 percent at $49.51 per barrel.
Prices for both benchmarks (Brent, WTI) have been on the rise holding their highest since May 2017, when the OPEC extended cuts.
Despite the rises in current prices, forecasts have been cut again by more than 15 investments banks. An average of those forecasts sees Brent averaging $53 per barrel this year, down $2 per barrel from the June survey. They also forecast Brent at $55 per barrel in 2018, also down $2 from June.
China to become top oil importer this year, China will overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest oil importer this year, having imported more crude than the U.S. in the first six months of the year (8.55 mb/d vs. 8.12 mb/d) for the first time ever.