Oil prices traded lower on concerns over the slowdown in the global economy and on high U.S. crude oil inventories. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday, U.S. crude inventories declined by 0.75 million barrels to 502.0 million in the week to February 05. Analysts had expected U.S. crude oil inventories to rise by 3.6 million barrels. Gasoline inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels, according to the EIA. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, increased by 523,000 barrels.
Reuters reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia could agree to "freeze" oil output from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC countries at current levels if Iran will agree to sign such an agreement. To "freeze" oil output at current levels is a Venezuelan proposal. According to the source familiar with the matter, Qatar and the Russia had given their initial agreement.
WTI crude oil for February delivery declined to $26.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Brent crude oil for March fell to $30.23 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.