Oil prices dipped this morning as rising crude stocks in the US underscored an ongoing global fuel supply overhang despite an OPEC-led effort to cut output.
Prices for front-month Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil, were at $50.79 per barrel this morning, down 17 cents, or 0.3%, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 18 cents, or 0.4%, at $48.08 a barrel.
US crude oil inventories climbed by 4.5 million barrels in the week to March 17 to 533.6 million barrels, the American Petroleum Institute (API) said last night.
The bloated storage comes as US oil production has risen over 8% since the middle of 2016 to more than 9.1 million barrels per day (bpd), levels comparable to late 2014, when the oil market slump started.
Rising production in the US and elsewhere, and bloated inventories, are undermining efforts led by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut output and prop up prices.
Despite cuts, analysts warned of renewed or ongoing oversupply in coming years, especially as US shale producers ramp up and once OPEC returns to full capacity.
Goldman Sachs warned its clients in a note this week that a US shale led production surge "could create a material oversupply in 2018-19."