Oil prices drop amid ample supplies

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NEW YORK, (Xinhua) — Oil prices continued to fall Thursday as the market expected global supplies exceeded demand.

U.S. crude supplies of last week gained 2.8 million barrels to 482.8 million barrels, beating market expectation, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in its weekly report on Wednesday.

The U.S. supplies figure was 102.6 million barrels more than a year ago.

U.S. crude production added 48,000 to 9.16 million barrels a day last week, according to the EIA’s report.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) pumped more crude above the limit the group set in October, reaching the highest level since 2008, according to a market survey.

OPEC maintained it output quota of 30 million barrels per day at June’s meeting. The cartel’s output accounts for around 40 percent of the global crude output.

OPEC member Iran planned to raise its crude output by 1 million barrels per day by the end of next March.

The West Texas Intermediate for December delivery moved down 1.12 U.S. dollars to settle at 45.2 dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for December delivery decreased 60 cents to close at 47.98 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.

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