Oil resumed its decline near $30 a barrel after US industry data showed crude stockpiles increased, exacerbating a global glut.
Futures slid as much as 3.7% in New York. Inventories surged by 11.4 million barrels last week, the industry-funded American Petroleum Institute was said to report.
Government data Wednesday is forecast to show supplies rose for a third week. Prices climbed Tuesday after Iraq’s oil minister said Saudi Arabia and Russia are now more flexible about cooperating to cut output.
Crude is down 17% this year as volatility in global markets adds to concern over brimming US stockpiles and the outlook for increased exports from Iran after the removal of international sanctions. Independent American oil explorers are forecast to report 2015 losses totaling almost $14 billion amid the price collapse, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
“The US inventory number is going to keep a lid on any strong rally,” David Lennox, an analyst at Fat Prophets in Sydney, said by phone. “Volatility will continue. Until we see actual production cuts, it’s going to be difficult for the market to sustain any advance.”
West Texas Intermediate for March delivery fell as much as $1.15 to $30.30 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, erasing Tuesday’s gain. The contract was at $30.87 a barrel at 9:03 a.m. Hong Kong time. Total volume traded was about 5% below the 100-day average.
Brent for March settlement lost 49 cents, or 1.5%, to $31.31 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract added $1.30, or 4.3% on Tuesday. The European benchmark crude traded at a premium of 44 cents to WTI.