The global benchmark slipped 2.5 percent. American crude supplies hit a record this month and production has increased as the nation’s oil drillers have been adding the most rigs since 2012. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and 11 other countries began trimming supply for six months starting Jan. 1 in an effort to ease a global supply glut.
Brent for May settlement declined by $49.71 cents to $49.71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange, the first time below $50 a barrel since Nov. 30, the day the OPEC agreed to its historic output-reduction deal.
West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, fell below $50 a barrel on March 9 for the first time since December amid rising U.S. inventories and output.