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Oil Declines After Saudi Says Market Is Oversupplied

Source: Bloomberg 4/18/2011, Location: Middle East

Oil declined for the first time in four days in New York after Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest exporter, said the global market has adequate crude supplies.

Futures slipped as much as 1.4 percent after Saudi Arabia’s Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said yesterday the “market is oversupplied.” Crude fell 2.8 percent last week on speculation price gains spurred by conflicts in the Middle East will curb economic expansion. The world economy is being hurt by “very high” oil prices, said Nobuo Tanaka, the International Energy Agency’s executive director.

“The price recovery may have been delayed by al-Naimi’s comments, but I think the general trend is for the market to move higher,” said Christopher Bellew, senior broker at Bache Commodities Ltd. in London. “Investors are cautiously returning as it becomes apparent that Libyan crude may be unavailable for some time, and as unrest continues in other countries.”

Crude oil for May delivery slid as much as $1.55 to $108.11 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract was at $108.27 at 12:32 p.m. London time. The more actively traded June future decreased $1.41, or 1.3 percent, to $108.81.

Brent crude oil for June settlement dropped $1.26, or 1 percent, to $122.19 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. Front-month Brent futures fell 2.5 percent last week to settle at $123.45. Brent’s premium over New York futures grew for the first time in three days, to $13.38 a barrel.

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