Doubts linger over potential OPEC deal

Caption In this Dec. 22, 2014 file photo, an Iranian oil worker rides his bicycle at the Tehran oil refinery, south of the capital Tehran, Iran. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)
An Iranian oil worker rides his bicycle at a Tehran oil refinery, south of the capital. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Oil declined amid doubts that producers will agree to stabilize the market when suppliers meet next month for informal talks.

Futures decreased as much as 1.8 percent in New York after rising the previous two sessions. Iran’s plan to continue boosting crude output until it regains its pre-sanctions OPEC market share is dimming prospects of collective action, according to Patrick Allman-Ward, chief executive officer of Dana Gas. United Arab Emirates Oil Minister Suhail Al Mazrouei said in a Twitter post that the oil market should achieve stability soon.

Oil entered a bull market Aug. 18, less than three weeks after tumbling into a bear market, as prices surged partly on speculation that discussions among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries may lead to action to stabilize the market. A deal to freeze output was proposed in February, but a meeting in April ended with no final accord.

“There’s very little reason to believe there will be any freeze resolution,”  Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodities analyst at bank SEB, said by phone from Oslo. “Iran is making it very explicit: We are not going do any freeze deal unless we are back to 4 million barrels.”

West Texas Intermediate for October delivery dropped as much as 86 cents to $46.78 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at $47.08 at 3:47 p.m. in Dubai. The contract gained 31 cents to $47.64 on Friday, trimming a weekly decline. Total volume traded was about 45 percent below the 100-day average. Prices slid 1.8 percent last week.

Brent for October settlement lost as much as 87 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $49.05 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $2.22 to WTI.

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