OPEC’s oil output rises to the highest level since December jumping by 173,000 barrels per day after the cartel officials met earlier this week in Abu Dhabi to discuss compliance improvements. Rising output from U.S. drillers and OPEC members Libya and Nigeria remains the problem.

While investors are keeping a close eye on the impact of the tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, oil prices have fallen today after touching two-month highs yesterday. Crude oil failed to hold recent gains and dropped below the 50$ level. OPEC believes that shrinking global crude stockpiles and boosting prices will support the global economy with better than projected growth in 2018. But after the rise in oil outlook demand for 2018, doubts remain over whether enough crude would be consumed to end the global excess. However, some analysts believe that the growing unrest arising from the deepening economic and political crisis in Venezuela could be the much-needed catalyst required to give oil prices a short-term jolt higher.

Bloomberg Crude Oil 1-Hour Chart
Bloomberg Crude Oil 1-Hour Chart

WTI Crude oil for September delivery lost as much as 52 cents to $48.07 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $48.11$ at 9:03 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 45% above the 100-day average. Prices are down 3% this week.

Brent for October settlement fell as much as 52 cents, or 1%, to $51.38 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Prices on Thursday dropped 80 cents, or 1.5%, to $51.90. The global benchmark is down 1.9% this week and traded at a premium of $3.18 to October WTI.