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Oil prices drop after Saudi increase in oil production

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Oil prices fell below the $50-per-barrel-mark Tuesday following a hike in oil production by Saudi Arabia.

As Business Insider reports, West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, fell to $47.43 per barrel as of Tuesday morning. Brent crude oil, the international benchmark, was at $50.48 per barrel. Both were at their lowest prices since November.

The drop in oil prices followed OPEC’s report showing Saudi Arabia increased production to just over 10 million barrels per day in February.

In November, when the OPEC cartel of Oil producers collectively agreed to cut production, the Saudis agreed to cut production down to 10.058 million barrels a day, so the latest increase remained below that agreed-upon number.

Tom Pugh, commodities economist at Capital Economics, wrote that the drop in oil prices will likely put more pressure on OPEC members to extend cuts to output beyond June.

As of Friday, according to OPEC, the daily basket price for oil was $50.82 per barrel and prior to that, had been hovering around the $52 to $53 per barrel mark for several weeks.