US oil futures fell in early Asian trade on Friday as record crude stocks renewed concerns about global oversupply, outweighing moves by oil producers including Saudi Arabia and Russia to cap oil output.
US crude had slipped 30 cents to $30.47 a barrel by 0016 GMT, after settling up 11 cents in the previous session.
The benchmark had this week risen more than 14 percent up to Thursday after Saudi Arabia and Russia announced plans to freeze oil output at January’s levels.
That would be the first such deal in 15 years between the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-OPEC members.
Iraq’s oil minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Thursday that talks would continue between OPEC and non-OPEC members to find ways to restore “normal” oil prices.
A meeting between oil ministers from Iran, Iraq, Qatar and Venezuela in Tehran on Wednesday to agree a production cap ended inconclusively. Iran has endorsed the plan but without committing to an output cap.
Moves to curb output growth come as Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by more than 200,000 barrels per day (bpd) to almost 7.49 million bpd in December compared with the previous month, official data showed on Thursday.
That came as U.S. crude stocks rose 2.1 million barrels last week, to a peak of 504.1 million barrels, the third week of record highs in the past month, data from the US government’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed.
Gasoline stocks also hit a record high, while stocks of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, were also up.
“Strong U.S. imports continue to hurt inventories. US imports climbed 11 percent, the largest gain since April,” ANZ said in a note on Friday.