Oil holds losses near 7-week low as Iran lifts production

Oil held losses near the lowest close in seven weeks as Iran boosted output and as US explorers raised the number of active rigs to the most since February, signalling the persistence of a global supply glut. Futures added 0.4 per cent in New York after falling 4.1 per cent over the previous two sessions. Output from three western Iranian fields rose to about 250,000 barrels at day from 65,000 barrels in 2013, faster than expected, the oil ministry’s news service Shana reported Sunday. US rigs targeting crude rose by 2 to 452 last week, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data Friday, as increased drilling efficiency has allowed explorers to continue expanding oilfield work. Oil slipped below $45 a barrel following the failure of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) last month to agree on output quotas for individual countries. Targets must be agreed upon before the group’s deal to cut production can be finalised at a November 30 meeting. Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said over the weekend that members must agree to implement proposed output cuts to help rebalance the market. (Perry Williams/Bloomberg)

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