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US benchmark WTI crude price tumbles below $50 a barrel

The international benchmark for oil prices, Brent crude futures, were down 25 cents, i.e. 0.4 percent. Photograph:( Others )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 29, 2018, 04.18 PM (IST)

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate(WTI) crude price tumbled below $50 a barrel trading at $49.80 over fears of oversupply and bleak economic outlook.

The current WTI oil rate was the lowest in 14 months, down 46 cents compared with Wednesday's close. Brent crude was down 63 cents at $58.13.

The top-three oil producers - the United States, Russia and Saudi Arabia- have reported higher production last month with US hitting a record 11.7 million barrels a day a fortnight ago. Saudi Arabia has been pumping 10.7 million barrels a day since October

Russian President Putin had said on Wednesday that  oil price level of $60 per barrel was "quite acceptable", "we are completely satisfied", he had pointed out. Russia is the world's third-biggest oil producer after the United States and Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's November production is expected to hit 11 million barrels a day, reports said. Brent crude had dropped below $70 a barrel on November 12th for the first time since April while WTI had sank below $60 a barrel, a nine-month low.

The fall in crude prices has been looked upon with concern by OPEC nations who plan to meet in Vienna next month to put a cap on oil supply. If the oil producers in Vienna fail to reach an agreement on cutting oil production, analysts say prices could fall further to new lows.

President Trump has repeatedly said the OPEC has been trying to fix prices, in a tweet last week he applauded the fall in prices adding that it should go lower.

Depite oil sanctions on Iran, crude oil prices have been falling at a record pace in the past month with world oil prices down by over 30 per cent. 

The Trump administrations decision to give an oil waiver to India, China, South Korea, Turkey for Iran oil led prices to fall rapidly as oversupply ensued.

Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih had said that kingdom would cut its production by 500,000 barrels per day as Brent crude continued to wobble around the $60 per barrel mark.

Although, most OPEC members have been in favour of cutting production but it is still unclear which way the Vienna conference on oil prices will finally end with Russia quite satisfied with current levels.

Suheil al-Mazrouei, energy minister of UAE had said "a new strategy needs to be formed... whether it is a cut in production or something else, but it will not be an increase in production."

The oil price has been hit by a global slowdown with the International Monetary Foundation(IMF) downgrading its prediction of 2018 and 2019 world economic growth rate.