West Texas Intermediate futures for April delivery tumbled to $31.14 (-2.29%), while Brent crude fell to $32.83 (-1.32%) as hopes for output cuts faded. Speaking on Tuesday at the IHS CERAWeek conference in the U.S., Saudi oil minister Ali Al-Naimi said his country would not take on production cuts, because other producers would not do the same even if they promise. Al-Naimi also said that in the current conditions producers will have to "lower costs, borrow or liquidate". He added that he doesn't know when prices will finally climb.
Signs of rising crude stockpiles in the U.S. also weighed on oil prices. The American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday inventories likely rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week to February 19, while experts had expected a more modest increase of 3.4 million barrels. Official data from the Energy Information Administration will be published later today.