U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were trading at $44.14 per barrel at 03:35 GMT, down $1.39 or 3 percent, after a more than 4 percent drop the previous session. WTI futures have fallen below prices when the OPEC cuts were agreed in late November and are at their lowest since Nov. 14, as reported by Reuters.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $47.05 per barrel at 03:35 GMT, down $1.33 or 2.8 percent from their last close. Brent tumbled back below $50 in the previous session and is its lowest since Jan. 14.
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"So far OPEC's strategy to draw down inventories has not worked... It seems obvious to us that OPEC will need to keep the cuts in place for longer than the next 6 months if their strategy is to have any chance of success," Neil Beveridge, senior oil and gas analyst at AB Bernstein in Hong Kong said in a note to clients on Friday.
Crude is now back to levels last seen before the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers said they would cut output by almost 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) during the first half of the year in a bid to tighten the market.
Other analysts agreed the steep price falls would likely force OPEC members to extend production cuts later this month, but they said the prospect of deeper cuts appeared slim.