* Record OPEC output, economic slowdown also weigh on
* Bernstein Energy cuts oil price outlook for 2017, 2018
By Henning Gloystein
SINGAPORE, Oct 17 Oil prices fell early on
Monday, pulled down by a rising rig count in the United States,
record OPEC-output, and slowing global economic growth which
could erode fuel demand.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures were
trading at $50.03 per barrel at 0030, down 32 cents from their
Traders said that WTI was pulled down by another rise in
U.S. oil drilling activity.
A closely watched report on Friday by oil services provider
Baker Hughes showed U.S. drillers added four rigs in the week to
Oct. 14. It was the 16th week in a row that oil drillers had
gone without making cuts, indicating more production to come.
International benchmark Brent crude oil futures were
also down, shedding 20 cents from their last settlement to
$51.75 per barrel.
Traders said Brent was being weighed by fresh production
records from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting
Countries (OPEC), which pumped out a record 33.6 million barrels
of crude oil per day in September PRODN-TOTAL.
"Record supply from OPEC year-to-date, weaker global GDP
estimates, and still elevated inventories cause us to lower and
flatten our oil price outlook," Bernstein Energy said in a note
to clients on Monday.
"We reduce our Brent forecast to $60 per barrel in 2017 ($70
per barrel before) and $70 per barrel in 2018 ($80 per barrel
before)," it added.
Despite Monday's falls, analysts said that traders were
cautious about driving the market much further down, largely
because of a plan by OPEC to cut output in an initiative to rein
in a global production overhang, which currently sees around
half a million barrels of crude pumped every day in excess of
OPEC is scheduled to meet on November 30 to discuss a
production cut. The producer cartel hopes non-OPEC members,
particularly Russia, will join a potential cut.
"With (non-OPEC member) Russia expressing an interest to
join the agreement, investors are reluctant to get too bearish,"
ANZ bank said on Monday.
(Reporting by Henning Gloystein; Editing by Michael Perry)