Oil falls again as IMF cuts forecast; Iran hints at $25 oil

Athabasca Oil Sands, Canada

NEW YORK, Jan 20 (Reuters) – Oil fell as much as 5 percent on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund cut its 2015 global economic forecast on lower fuel demand and key producer Iran hinted prices could drop to $25 a barrel without supportive OPEC action.

Genscape, an analytics firm that monitors U.S. oil stocks, reported a 2.6 million-barrel build last week in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for the U.S. crude futures contract, adding to the market’s bearish sentiment, traders said.

Trade group American Petroleum Institute will issue its data on U.S. crude inventories for last week on Wednesday while the government’s Energy Information Administration will release its stockpile tally on Thursday, both delayed a day by a holiday on Monday.

Benchmark Brent crude was down 39 cents at $48.45 a barrel by 1656 GMT, after touching a session low at $47.78…

…Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tehran saw no signs of a shift within OPEC towards action to support oil prices, and that the industry could ride out a further slump toward $25.

Related: Canadian oil sands producers stay defiant in face of price slump: (Reuters) – Canada’s oil sands companies are perilously close to operating at a loss after six months of plunging crude prices, yet many say they have no plans to cut production at their vast projects in northern Alberta.

On the contrary, Syncrude and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd are planning to boost production, in the expectation economies of scale will cut their cost per barrel.