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Oil prices fall on White House proposal to sell United States oil reserves

Oanda Singapore analyst Jeffrey Halley was quoted by the news agency as saying: "Oil rumours swirled that OPEC. was considering recommending the double whammy of a production cut extension and deeper cuts ahead of this Thursday's meeting". Non-OPEC oil production dropped by 255,000 b/d in April, as producers subject to the output cut agreement stepped up compliance and Canadian oil sands output slipped on unscheduled shutdowns. There is near-unanimity among watchers that the deal will be extended, with the only real questions being for how long and whether cuts will be more severe.

Speaking from Riyadh on Sunday, Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said there was unanimous support from all the nations that participated in the earlier deal.

"The Saudi statement that everyone agreed to a nine-month extension spurred optimism that the cuts will do something to correct the over-supply scenario", Gene McGillian, manager of market research for Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut, said by telephone.

Al-Falih says he doesn't expect any objections to a nine-month extension to the output cut deal between OPEC and none-OPEC members through March 2018.

At the same time, the USA would boost its oil production, as Trump plans to raise $1.8 billion in the next ten years by drilling more in Alaska, the largest protected wilderness in the country, which is said to have vast oil reserves.

"The two ministers will discuss boosting bilateral relations and the upcoming OPEC decision to help boost global prices and reduce the glut in the market", Iraqi oil ministry spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters.

The ECB does not set policy and its meeting precedes the gathering of OPEC and non-OPEC oil ministers on May 25 to decide whether to extend beyond June 30 their deal to reduce output.

US shale-oil producers have been steadily ramping up production with the Energy Information Administration, forecasting USA output to hit a record of almost 10 million barrels a day in 2018.

Last week Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, the world's two biggest oil producers, jointly called for oil producers to extend their production cuts to March 31, 2018.

Brent for July settlement fell 52 cents to $53.35 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

United States shale drillers aren't the only ones threatening to offset OPEC's oil production cuts.

Papa, who helped create the shale industry more than a decade ago, estimated that average USA output would be 450,000 barrels a day higher this year, the delegates said.

In fact, the rapid response by the USA shale sector to the OPEC deal helps explain why oil prices retreated earlier this month.

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