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Russia and Iran have pledged to continue efforts to rein in oil production and stabilize markets, the presidents of both countries said in a joint statement on March 28.
But crude was weighed down by a resurgence in U.S. shale oil production and the expectation that inventories would once again build, illustrating the global supply overhang that has depressed prices for three years.
A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers has agreed to review whether a global pact to limit supplies should be extended by six months.
Unless OPEC extends the curbs beyond June or makes bigger cuts, traders say oil prices are at risk of falling further.
Oil prices dipped on March 23, struggling to recover from four-month lows because of investor concerns that OPEC-led supply cuts were not yet reducing record U.S. crude inventories.
The total amount of crude in U.S. storage rose to a new high led by gains in the East Coast, Rocky Mountains and Midwest, where new regional records were set, according to EIA data.
Oil prices slipped to almost four-month lows March 22 after data showed U.S. crude inventories rising faster than expected, piling pressure on OPEC to extend output cuts beyond June.
New production projects and a fresh shale boom could boost oil output by a million barrels per year and result in an oversupply in the next couple of years, according to Goldman Sachs.
That decline also came ahead of the release of weekly U.S. crude inventory data later March 21 and on March 22 that is expected to show a crude stock build of 2.6 million barrels.
OPEC oil producers increasingly favor extending beyond June a pact on reducing crude supply to balance the market, sources within the group said, although Russia and other non-members need to remain part of the initiative.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 55 cents at $51.21/bbl at 7:19 a.m. CT (12:19 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were trading 73 cents lower at $48.05/bbl.
Eleven non-OPEC oil producers that joined a global deal to reduce output to boost prices delivered 64% of promised cuts in February, an industry source said, still lagging the higher levels of OPEC itself.