Oil prices fell towards six-year lows yesterday on data showing the economy of Japan, the world's third-biggest oil consumer, contracted in the second quarter.
The global oversupply picture was exacerbated by another weekly jump in US oil rig additions on Friday, hinting at growing production, and news that Oman produced a record-breaking one million barrels per day in July.
US crude, or West Texas Intermediate (WTI), for September was trading 45 cents lower at $42.05 a barrel, close to its lowest in more than six years.
Brent futures for October briefly reached an intra-day high of $49.44 a barrel on news that Kuwait's 200,000-barrels-per-day Shuaiba refinery had shut following a fire. The contract traded just below Friday's close at $49.18 a barrel. The Brent September contract expired on Friday.