Oil prices fell after data showed U.S. production rose last week just as OPEC exports hit a 2017 high. Fred Katayama reports.
Oil prices fell Friday after data showed U.S. production rose last week and OPEC exports hit a 2017 high. Energy stocks went along for the ride, including conventional producers, such as Chevron and Exxon Mobil, and shale drillers, like Chesapeake, Devon, and Oasis. For the year, oil prices have fallen more than 16 percent. Andrew Lebow of Commodity Research Group says it's possible to see WTI at $50 in the third quarter of 2017, but under one conditon: (SOUNDBITE) ANDREW LEBOW, SENIOR PARTNER, COMMODITY RESEARCH GROUP (ENGLISH) SAYING: "The market needs to see inventories going down. This a key determinant for OPEC. They talked about inventories getting down to the five-year average. They're nowhere near the five-year average. In fact, according to the IEA, almost 300 million about the average, so the market has ways to go to start drawing inventory. And once it does, I think it would give the market a little bit more confidence that a price recovery could be very close." On Thursday, the Energy Information Administration released data that showed U.S. crude production rose markedly. The government agency also said U.S crude inventories in the last week of June fell to its lowest level since January. OPEC meets at the end of July in Russia. Some analysts say it could make a recommendation to stem oil production.