Traders said the price falls on Monday and Friday were a result of increasing oil drilling activity in the United States, which indicated that producers can operate profitably around current levels.
“Each dollar is being used far more efficiently and, as a result, $50 oil appears much more palatable,” Barclays bank said in a note to clients.
U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a tenth week in the past 11, according to a Baker Hughes rig count report on Friday. It was the longest streak without rig cuts since 2011.
Speculative oil traders also became less confident of higher oil prices, cutting their net long U.S. crude futures and options positions for a second consecutive week last week, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said on Friday.
Oil’s near 5-percent price decline since Sept. 8 partly reverses a 10-percent rally early in the month, which was fueled by speculation that oil exporters could cap production.
Algeria’s energy minister said there is a consensus among OPEC and non-OPEC members about the need to stabilize the oil market to support prices, state news agency APS reported on Saturday.
OPEC Secretary-General Mohammed Barkindo told APS that OPEC was not seeking a definite price range for oil but rather “sustainable stability” for the market.
Moves toward clinching a global deal on stabilizing crude output come five months after similar talks for a production freeze failed when Saudi Arabia insisted that Iran join the pact.