| SINGAPORE, April 3
SINGAPORE, April 3 Oil futures dipped in early
Asian trade on Monday on worries about global oversupply after a
higher U.S. rig count pointed to rising U.S. shale production,
while a stronger dollar also put pressure on crude.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 5
cents to $50.55 a barrel by 0012 GMT after settling 25 cents
higher in the previous session.
International benchmark Brent futures slipped 11
cents to $53.42 a barrel. The March contract closed the previous
session down 13 cents at $52.83 a barrel.
Both contracts posted their worst quarterly loss since late
2015 in the March quarter. U.S. futures fell nearly 6 percent
from the previous quarter, while Brent lost 7 percent as rising
inventory levels outpaced output cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC
Crude oil prices staged a three-day rally last week amid
expectations members of the Organisation of the Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-members such as Russia would
extend production cuts beyond June.
But prices fell on Friday after energy services firm Baker
Hughes said the U.S. rig count increased by 10 to 662 last week,
making the first quarter the strongest for oil rig additions
The U.S. dollar index rose against a basket of
currencies on Monday. A strong dollar makes
greenback-denominated commodities including oil more expensive
for holders of other currencies.
Iraq plans to increase its oil output capacity to 5 million
barrels per day before the end of the year, but Baghdad has
assured OPEC it will fully comply with the pact to cut oil
supply, Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi and OPEC Secretary General
Mohammed Barkindo said on Sunday.
Russian oil shipped by state pipeline monopoly Transneft
to ports for export rose to 2.944 million barrels
per day (bpd) in March, or 12.452 million tonnes, from 2.819
million bpd in February.
(Reporting by Keith Wallis; Editing by Richard Pullin)