Oil fell below $44 a barrel on Wednesday as a rise in U.S. inventories added to the global glut and investors discounted the possibility of OPEC cutting output at this week’s meeting.
Brent crude LCOc1 was down 85 cents at $43.59 a barrel by 1430 GMT, falling for a fifth consecutive session. It dropped as low as $43.51, its weakest level since Nov. 18, and was on track for its lowest close in two weeks.
U.S. crude CLc1 traded 78 cents down at $41.07 a barrel.
Current oil production is substantially outpacing demand and the growing global surplus has sent prices tumbling by more than 60 percent since June 2014.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), however, is not expected to budge from its stance of keeping output high to defend market share against producers such as Russia and North America.
“The market ascribes an extremely low probability to a change in OPEC policy,” said Bjarne Schieldrop, chief commodity analyst at SEB in Oslo.