Brent for February settlement fell as much as 82 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $57.06 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. It dropped $1.57 to $57.88 yesterday , Censor.NET reports citing Bloomberg.
West Texas Intermediate for February delivery slid as much as 66 cents to $52.95 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $53.05 at 3:55 p.m. Singapore time. The contract decreased $1.12 to $53.61 yesterday, the lowest close since May 2009.
Oil has slumped 46 percent this year, set for the biggest annual decline since 2008, as the highest U.S. production in more than three decades contributed to a global surplus estimated by Qatar at 2 million barrels a day.
Futures dropped as much as 1.2 percent in New York. Stockpiles in the U.S., the world's largest oil consumer, are projected to remain at 387.2 million barrels last week, a Bloomberg News survey shows before government data tomorrow. U.S. crude inventories have risen to almost 13 percent above the five-year average level of 343.1 million barrels for this time of year, according to the Energy Information Administration.
"The market's oversupply isn't an issue that could be solved in the short term," Hong Sung Ki, a commodities analyst at Samsung Futures Inc. Ir Seoul, said by phone today. "Oil prices are suffering as OPEC members, led by Saudi Arabia, firmly hold on to their stance to maintain output."