* Brent down 12 pct since OPEC-led production cut extension
* U.S. crude storage rises again this week
* Floating storage in Asia also still common
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, June 9 Oil prices continued to slide
on Friday, adding to sharp declines from earlier this week as
evidence mounted that a fuel supply overhang continued despite
an ongoing effort led by OPEC to tighten the market by holding
Brent crude futures were trading at $47.67 per
barrel at 0039 GMT, down 19 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their
last close. That puts Brent 12 percent below its opening level
on May 25, when an OPEC-led policy to cut oil output was
extended to cover the first quarter of 2018.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were
at $45.44 per barrel, down 20 cents, or 0.44 percent, from their
previous close. They are down over 11 percent from May 25.
"(With very few) bullish catalysts around at the moment, the
path of less resistance remains lower," ANZ bank said.
Traders said the price slump was a result of ongoing
oversupply despite the pledge led by the Organization of the
Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to cut almost 1.8 million
barrels per day (bpd) of production until the first quarter of
In the United States, official Energy Information
Administration (EIA) data showed a surprise build in commercial
crude oil stocks to 513.2 million barrels this week
The bloated inventories are in part a result of a relentless
rise in U.S. oil production C-OUT-T-EIA, which has risen by 10
percent since mid-2016 to over 9.3 million bpd and estimated by
the EIA to hit a record 10 million bpd next year, challenging
output of top exporter Saudi Arabia.
But markets elsewhere are also oversupplied, with evidence
emerging that traders are putting excess crude into floating
storage, a key indicator for a glut.
The Brent forward price curve now shows a clear contango
shape, in which prices for January next year are $1.5 per barrel
above those for immediate delivery, making it
profitable to put crude into tankers and wait for a later sale.
Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows at least 25
supertankers are currently sitting in the Strait of Malacca and
the Singapore Strait, holding unsold fuel.
That's only slightly less than in early May and about the
same amount from April, indicating that even in Asia with its
strong demand growth, traders are struggling to clear out
And more production is coming. Libya's 270,000 bpd Sharara
oil field has reopened after a workers' protest and should
return to normal production within three days, the National Oil
Corporation said in a statement early on Friday.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Joseph Radford)