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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Oil-Price Fall Gathers Pace




LONDON -- Oil's descent from recent highs gathered pace Thursday as worries grew that OPEC was starting to cut corners on implementing supply curbs.


Benchmark Brent for November delivery was 42 cents lower at $22.34 a barrel by midmorning, extending to $2 a sharp slide from 33-month highs struck just last week.


Falls have accelerated since a Reuters survey found that export cartel OPEC's adherence to export limits slackened again in September as high prices drew extra supplies from core Gulf producers.


The export group raised wellhead output in September by 140,000 barrels a day to 26.68 million bpd from a revised 26.54 million in August, according to the survey of OPEC and industry officials and consultants.


The survey showed that compliance by the 10 OPEC members participating in restrictions fell to 81 percent in September from 84 percent in August.


"Compliance is now getting perilously close to the 80 percent level that many believe is a critical barometer of success or failure of the accord," Lawrence Eagles of brokers GNI Research said.


Oil prices had more than doubled to a 33-month peak of $24.30 a barrel thanks to good compliance by OPEC and some non-OPEC producers.