Oil falls to near $99 on Saudi crude output boost

June 13, 2011 - 12:14 AM

SIGNAPORE (AP) — Oil prices fell to near $99 a barrel Monday in Asia, extending a big loss from Friday after a report said Saudi Arabia plans to boost its crude production.

Benchmark oil for July delivery was down 29 cents to $99 a barrel at midday Singapore time in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract lost $2.64 to settle at $99.29 on Friday.

In London, Brent crude for July delivery was down 22 cents to $118.56 a barrel on the ICE Futures exchange.

Saudi newspaper al-Hayat reported Friday that the country will increase production 13 percent, or about 1.14 million barrels per day, to boost global supplies and help lower prices. Earlier last week, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries failed to reach consensus to raise output and left the cartel's production quotas unchanged.

This week, investors will be eyeing the latest economic data from the U.S. and China. Some analysts expect Chinese crude consumption to remain robust despite signs economic growth may be weakening.

"Chinese oil demand growth has shown no signs of a slowdown this year, despite economic activity moderating," Barclays Capital said in a report. "The growth path is unlikely to be altered significantly by moderating overall economic activity."

U.S. retail sales and Chinese inflation and industrial production figures are scheduled to be released Tuesday.

In other Nymex trading in July contracts, heating oil fell 0.1 cent to $3.10 a gallon while gasoline was steady at $3.02 a gallon. Natural gas futures gained 0.1 cent at $4.76 per 1,000 cubic feet.