Oil prices dive as U.S. considers record reserves release


Oil prices plunged on Thursday on news that the United States was considering the largest ever release from its Strategic Petroleum Reserve, while OPEC+ stuck to its existing deal for May output.

Brent crude futures for May, which expires on Thursday, were down $5.91, to $107.54 a barrel.

The most actively traded June futures were down $5.53 at $105.91, after falling by $7.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures for May delivery was down $6.06, to $101.76 a barrel, off a low of $100.16.

The record U.S. SPR oil release of 180 million barrels is the equivalent to two days of global demand and would hit the market over several months, four U.S. sources said on Wednesday, as the White House tries to lower fuel prices.

Meanwhile, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, known as OPEC+, agreed at a meeting on Thursday to stick to its existing agreement and raise its May production target by 432,000 barrels per day (bpd).

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