Oil prices fell for a second session on Monday after the head of the world’s largest exporter, Saudi Aramco, said it is poised to ramp up production as production is shutting down at several offshore platforms in the US Gulf of Mexico. resumed after a short hiatus last week.
Brent crude futures fell 27 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $97.88 a barrel after closing 1.5 percent lower on Friday. US West Texas Intermediate crude was $91.87 a barrel, down 22 cents, or 0.2 percent, after falling 2.4 percent in the previous session.
Saudi Aramco stands ready to increase crude oil output to its maximum capacity of 12 million barrels per day (bpd) if requested by the Saudi Arabian government, Chief Executive Amin Nasser told reporters on Sunday.
“We are confident that we will be able to ramp up to 12 million bpd when there is a need or a call from the government or the Department of Energy to increase our production,” Nasser said. He added that China’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions and a rebound in the airline industry could boost demand.
Investors are looking to China’s economic data later on Monday for demand signals from the world’s largest crude oil importer.
Oil prices rose more than 3 percent last week after a damaged section of the oil pipeline disrupted output at several offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico.
Producers had moved to reactivate some of the halted production after repairs were completed late Friday, a Louisiana official said.
Energy services company Baker Hughes Co reported Friday that the number of oil rigs in the US jumped 3 last week to 601. The number of rigs, an early indicator of future production, has grown slowly, with oil production only recovering from pandemic-related budget cuts next year.
Global oil markets continued to be supported by tight supplies in the run-up to EU sanctions on Russian shipments of crude oil and refined products this winter.