Oil prices down on Russian production gains


NEW YORK, Nov. 2 (UPI) -- An increase in Russian crude oil production and more signs of weakness in the Chinese economy pushed crude oil prices down on the first trading day in November.

The price for Brent crude oil was down about 1.3 percent from the previous session to $48.88 per barrel in early morning trading. West Texas Intermediate, the benchmark price for U.S crude oil, was down 1.5 percent to $45.85 per barrel.

Crude oil prices are moving steadily lower, off about 11 percent for the year, because of signs of lingering global economic weakness and a surplus in supplies.

Novatek, the largest private crude oil producer in Russia, reported a 40 percent increase in production year-on-year. Among those reporting a decline, Rosneft, one of the largest companies in Russian in terms of overall output, reported a 1.1 percent decline in production for October, when weighed against last year. (by Daniel J. Graeber, UPI)