Rise in U.S. oil rigs push Brent oil below $62

Oil slides as US output soars and North Sea crude flows restart

The drop came amid a rout in global equity markets sparked by inflation fears.

Brent futures were down 44 cents or 0.7 percent, at $64.37 a barrel by around 0700 GMT.

The global benchmark Brent crude lost 8.7 percent between February 2 - Feb. 9, while the American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) fell 9.8 percent during that period.

Both contracts have fallen more than 9 percent from this year's high point in late January.

Leon Cooperman, the chairman and CEO of Omega Advisors who predicted WTI's rise to $60 per barrel while it was still trading around the $49 mark, on Wednesday told CNBC that "I think the supply-demand outlook is favorable, and we would not be surprised to see oil reaching $70 a barrel".

Oil slides as US output soars and North Sea crude flows restart

Production of crude oil in the USA also climbed to a record high level last week by reaching 10.25 million barrels per day (mbpd), according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released on Wednesday, and surpassed the crude output of Saudi Arabia.

Crude output in the U.S.is expected to average 10.6 mbpd this year, an EIA report said earlier this week.

Earlier on Tuesday, the EIA issued the Annual Energy Outlook 2018 (AEO2018), forecasting USA production of shale oil and natural gas is projected to increase for decades, but the liquids production (mostly crude oil and petroleum products) will begin to decline toward 2050 as less productive areas are developed.

China plans to launch its long-awaited crude oil futures contract on March 26, two sources familiar with the situation said on Friday, a move that will potentially shake up the pricing of the world's largest commodity market.

China will soon be able to trade oil using its own currency by creating a futures market to rival the global benchmark contracts which are traded exclusively in dollars.

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