US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in September dropped 27 cents to $48.52 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
European benchmark Brent oil for delivery in September shed seven cents at $53.31 a barrel in London.
Abdullah El-Badri, Secretary General of Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), said that the group would not cut output in response to lower prices and that it is not worried about the possible addition of Iranian oil following the nuclear accord between Iran and major countries.
“We met in December, last year and we met in June this year,” Badri said after a meeting in Moscow with Russia’s energy minister. “We are not ready to reduce our production.”
Thursday’s drop followed a choppy session and resumed a mostly downward trajectory for US oil since late June that has seen prices fall from around $60 a barrel into the $40s.
“We largely see the market shifting into a quieter choppy consolidation mode as it works off a short-term oversold condition, at least pending a clear push from fresh fundamental news,” said Tim Evans, analyst at Citi Futures.
Thursday’s data was “mixed and nothing’s been very strong,” said Michael Lynch, analyst at Strategic Energy & Economic Research.
“We’ll just have to wait and see if we see some stronger inventory changes or some supply news, but overall, we’re in the waiting room.”