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Western Canadian Select falls below $30 for first time in six years

Tags: Oil

Oil held near the lowest price in six years before U.S. government data forecast to show that crude supplies expanded to a record in the world’s biggest consumer.

Futures were little changed in New York after falling 2.1 percent Monday to the lowest since March 2009. Crude stockpiles probably gained by 3.3 million barrels last week to 452.2 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey before an Energy Information Administration report Wednesday. Prices may drop to $40 a barrel if they fail to stabilize, said Stephen Schork, who’s worked in commodities trading for more than 25 years.

Rising U.S. stockpiles are exacerbating a global glut that drove prices almost 50 percent lower last year. Iran could increase exports by 1 million barrels a day if international sanctions were lifted, its oilminister said, as talks resumed over its nuclear program. The nation is the fifth biggest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

West Texas Intermediate for April delivery was at $43.87 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, down 1 cent at 9:04 a.m. Sydney time. The contract slid 96 cents to $43.88 on Monday. The volume of all futures traded was about 11 percent above the 100-day average. Prices have decreased 18 percent this year.

Brent for April settlement expired Monday after dropping $1.23, or 2.3 percent, to $53.44 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of $9.56 to WTI. The more active May contract declined $1.07 to $53.94.

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