By Sara Israfilbayova
Oil prices decline on April 16 during Asian trading, investors are rushing to record profits after the oil market has risen to its maximum since late 2014.
Brent crude oil futures were at $71.78 per barrel, down 1.10 percent, from their last close, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 1.01 percent, at $66.71 a barrel, according to Reuters.
Missile strikes against Syria, inflicted on April 14 by the U.S., France and Britain, did not impress the market, although hypothetically this factor should contribute to the revival of the demand for black gold, since conflicts in the Middle East usually have an impressive influence on the mood in the raw material segment due to the volumes produced and exported in this region of oil.
More serious concerns in the market are likely to trigger new sanctions against Russia, which could affect the oil and gas sector. Washington promised to announce new restrictions.
Meanwhile, drilling activity in the U.S. has grown again. According to Baker Hughes, last week the number of drilling rigs in the country increased by 7 units to 815 and thus reached a new high since March 2015. Further increase in drilling activity implies new records of production in the near future.
OPEC and non-OPEC producers reached an agreement in December 2016 to curtail oil output jointly and ease a global glut after more than two years of low prices. OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.
Non-OPEC oil producers such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Brunei, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Oman, Russia, Sudan, and South Sudan agreed to reduce output by 558,000 barrels per day starting from January 1, 2017.
OPEC and its partners decided to extend its production cuts till the end of 2018 in Vienna on November 30, as the oil cartel and its allies step up their attempt to end a three-year supply glut that has savaged crude prices and the global energy industry.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz