Oil edged lower on Monday on a global supply glut pushing fuel storage sites close to capacity, and with fewer speculators betting on a rise in crude prices.
Brent, the international benchmark, was down 30 cents at $47.69 a barrel at 1253 GMT (0853 ET), more than 11 percent below this month’s high.
U.S. crude futures traded down 25 cents at $44.35 a barrel.
As refined oil product storage tanks fill up, unwanted diesel and jet fuel (distillate) cargoes are backing up outside Europe’s ports and taking longer, slower routes around the southern tip of Africa to buy time.
Research consultancy Energy Aspects said product stocks rose by 0.6 million barrels per day in the third quarter.
“While our distillate balances suggest that stocks will fall short of capacity, the margins of error are small and the risks high, leaving risks to current crude oil prices and timespreads as skewed to the downside through next spring,” analysts at Goldman Sachs wrote on Monday.
The bearish outlook led more speculators to sell out of long positions on crude oil, with holdings slipping by 18,597 contracts last week to 184,939 lots, InterContinental Exchange data showed.
Due to low oil prices, investment in the sector in 2016 is likely to decline further after sliding this year by more than a fifth, Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said on Monday.