Oil Slips As Ample Supply Counters Yemen, Drilling Slump


NEW YORK, April 27 (Reuters) - Crude settled lower on Monday as ample global supply blunted support from the conflict in Yemen and the falling number of U.S. rigs drilling for oil and kept traders cautious after prices reached 2015 peaks last week.

U.S. commercial crude inventories have risen for 15 straight weeks to a record 489 million barrels even with the recent fall in drilling activity.

"While the situation in Yemen and the falling U.S. rig count have supported, some caution remains because we have not seen evidence the cuts in drilling have translated into lower inventories," said Gene McGillian, senior analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

Brent June crude futures fell 45 cents to settle at $64.83 a barrel, having swung from $64.40 to $65.61. Friday's $65.80 intraday high was a 2015 peak.

U.S. June crude slipped 16 cents to settle at $56.99, having traded from $56.52 to $57.89. It hit a 2015 peak of $58.41 last Thursday.

Brent's premium to U.S. crude <CL-LCO1=R> reached $8.33 a barrel on Monday, but ended at $7.84 based on settlements falling short of Friday's $8.43 peak.

Another sign of plentiful supply was news that Saudi Arabia's Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi told officials in Beijing that the kingdom is ready to supply China with additional oil.


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