Oil Prices Crash to 6-Month Low After Exporters Announce Production Boost

Oil prices fell on Thursday with Brent crude falling to a near 6-month low. OPEC+ nations decided to enhance crude production in September. U.S. fuel demand data from the United States also dampened hopes for an upturn in oil prices, analysts said.

The last time crude traded at such levels was in mid-February 2022 when prices remained in the $89-96 range. The US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost $0.26, or 0.29 percent, to sit at $90.40 per barrel on Thursday.

Crude oil stockpiles in the United States increased unexpectedly last week as exports declined and refiners reduced runs. Crude stockpiles rose by 4.5 million barrels, above market expectations of a 600,000-barrel drop. Fuel stockpiles increased by 200,000 barrels, taking crude oil number well above expectations.

OPEC+ and its allies agree on a slight increase in oil output. The US has encouraged the OPEC+ members to increase output, but Saudi Arabia may be hesitant. Russia is facing sanctions as a result of its “special operation” on Ukraine. WTI futures for September fell by $3 after the agreement was reached.

Oil prices also dropped after Iranian and US officials announced plans to fly to Vienna to begin indirect discussions regarding Iran’s nuclear program, resurrecting hopes for the lifting of sanctions that have stifled Iranian oil exports for years.