Oil futures settled below the crucial $50 a barrel benchmark on Monday as an increase in the number of active drilling rigs in the U.S. and rising crude output from major producers impacted trading, according to Bloomberg MarketWatch.
November West Texas Intermediate crude slipped by 54 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $49.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A settlement around this level would be the lowest in just over a week.
On London’s ICE Futures Exchange, December Brent crude, the global benchmark, lost 50 cents, or 1%, to end trading at $51.45 a barrel.
“The U.S. rig count has steadily risen over the past weeks, to totals not seen since February,” said Daniel Holder, commodity analyst at Schneider Electric, adding that since June, crude oil producers have added over 100 rigs to last week’s count of 432.
On Friday, data from Baker Hughes revealed that the number of active U.S. rigs drilling for oil climbed by four for the week.
Back on the New York Mercantile Exchange, November natural gas fell 4.1 cents, or 1.3%., settling at $3.244 per million British thermal units.