Around 1200 GMT yesterday, Brent North Sea crude for delivery in August was down 78 cents at $49.57 a barrel compared with Monday’s close.
US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for July delivery shed 72 cents to $48.16 a barrel.
After a rally in the commodity that saw WTI hit an 11-month high last week, investors are beginning to cash in and search out safe havens such as the yen and gold.
Equities markets around the world have been tumbling since late last week on worries about the global economy and central banks’ ability to provide support.
Those anxieties are being compounded by the real possibility that Britain will vote to leave the European Union, with several polls putting the pro-exit campaign in front just over a week before a referendum.
Supply-side worries have also increased, although a Nigerian militant group has said it may commit to peace talks with Nigeria’s government over sabotaging oil infrastructure in Africa’s biggest oil producer.
In Canada meanwhile, production which was hammered by severe wildfires in May is expected to slowly recover as the blazes diminish.
Despite recent disruptions to output, a huge overhang in oil stocks lingering across the world will keep a cap on any further oil price rises, advisory group the International Energy Agency said Tuesday, even as supply and demand move towards balance by the end of the year.
The IEA added in a monthly report that there is a “huge number of moving parts” in the current oil market environment, making accurate predictions hazardous.
With prices having almost doubled since hitting near 13-year low points of close to $25 at the start of the year, companies are bringing more rigs back online as they become more economically viable.
The market previously dived from $100 a barrel in mid-2014 because of the global supply glut.
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