1122 GMT September 23, 2019
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading at $41.50 per barrel at 0652 GMT, down 43 cents, or over one percent, from their last close, Reuters reported.
International Brent crude futures LCOc1 were trading at $43.77 per barrel, down 52 cents, or 1.15 percent.
Traders said oil markets came under renewed pressure from overproduction in crude and refined products that has left onshore storage tanks filled to the rims and triggered the chartering of tankers to store unsold fuel.
On the demand side, BMI Research said China's imports were weakening from records set in 2015 and this year.
"China's near-term crude imports will remain sluggish due to a combination of factors including brimming commercial fuel stockpiles, slower off-take growth among teapots (refiners) and a more gradual pace of strategic stock building," BMI said.
Friday's slump ended a mid-week rally driven in large part by those holding short positions booking profits from a more than 20 percent fall in oil prices between June and early August, traders said.
"Oil prices rallied (Wednesday and Thursday) despite little fundamental data. However, with CFTC data showing investors increased their shorts positions the most ever for the week ending July 26, this suggests a short covering rally," ANZ bank said on Friday.