Oil prices edged lower Monday as data showed Saudi Arabian exports fell to the lowest in five months despite record output, while a resurgence in U.S. drilling activity seen earlier this month seemed to fizzle out.
Both international and U.S. crude futures posted their third consecutive weekly losses last week on expectations of increased exports from Iran following a deal to ease sanctions against the OPEC producer.
U.S. crude futures for August, also known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), closed down 1.45 percent, at $50.15 a barrel—the lowest since April 2. WTI fell more than 3 percent last week and more than 14 percent in July. The August contract expires on Tuesday.
Brent crude for September was 45 cents lower at $56.65 a barrel. The benchmark had fallen nearly 3 percent last week and more than 10 percent for the month.
Saudi Arabia's crude oil exports fell in May to their lowest since December, with official data showing daily shipments stood at 6.935 million barrels a day (bpd) compared to 7.737 million bpd in April.
The decline came despite record high output of over 10 million bpd as the Kingdom—traditionally the world's biggest exporter of crude—transforms into one of the largest oil refining centers.