Oil Falls From Three-Week High as Iran Says Exports ‘Priority’

How Iran Will Impact Oil in 2016
  • Crude retreated Monday after Iran says exports `priority'
  • U.S. oil inventories forecast to decline for second week

Oil held declines as Saudi Arabia unveiled a 2016 budget that reflects scaled-back revenue expectations and lower spending as the world’s biggest exporter copes with plunging prices.

Futures were little changed in New York after dropping 3.4 percent Monday. OPEC’s most powerful member reduced energy subsidies and allocated the biggest part of government spending in next year’s budget to defense and security. The kingdom’s 2016 budget is probably based on crude prices of about $29 a barrel, according Riyadh-based Jadwa Investment Co. U.S. inventories declined 2.25 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey of analysts before government data Wednesday.

The global glut that’s sent West Texas Intermediate crude toward its second yearly decline may deepen after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries effectively abandoned output limits this month. Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil, is poised to end 2015 with the lowest annual average price in 11 years, hurting energy-exporting countries and companies.

WTI for February delivery was at $36.77 a barrel, down 4 cents, on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 8:16 a.m. in Seoul. Prices dropped $1.29, or 3.4 percent, to $36.81 on Monday. The volume of all New York oil futures traded was 92 percent below the 100-day average.

Brent for February settlement fell $1.27, or 3.4 percent, to end Monday at $36.62 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The European benchmark crude closed at a 19-cent discount to WTI.

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