Forecasts of an increase in U.S. oil stockpiles, which the Dept. of Energy is expected to announce today, and the possibility that oil fields in Nigeria may soon reopen, also weighed on prices, which have slid 21% in the past month.
Brent crude oil for May settlement fell as much as $1.31 to $25.05 a barrel on London's International Petroleum Exchange, the biggest drop in six days. It traded 92 cents down at 2:35 p.m.
In New York, crude oil for May delivery was down $1.03 at $28.75 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange.