Oil gives up its gains as OPEC + fails to cut production
Oil prices closed lower on Wednesday after giving up their initial gains as key oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, struggled to persuade Russia of additional supply cuts to compensate for a drop in demand caused by the outbreak of the Corona virus.
Brent crude futures ended the trading session low, 73 cents, or 1.4 percent, to settle at $ 51.13 a barrel.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude contracts fell 40 cents to close at $ 46.78 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are seeking to persuade Russia to join significant additional cuts in oil production to support prices.
The group known as OPEC + is already implementing a cut of 2.1 million barrels per day, which helps prevent a sharp drop in prices.
An OPEC source said that the OPEC + Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee failed on Wednesday to reach agreement on additional cuts.
The source added that Russia has proposed to keep the current OPEC + cuts until the end of the second quarter of the year, while some OPEC members want additional cuts ranging from one million to 1.5 million barrels per day.