In comments yesterday, Saudi Arabian Oil Minister al-Naimi noted that the nation would maintain oil output at near record highs, temporarily sending oil prices lower before rebounding modestly. The latest gains in production coupled with additional production coming online from Iraq and Libya are seeing OPEC output continue to rise beyond quotas set by the cartel. American production has not waned as much as previously thought, only falling by 20,000 barrels last week despite the continued drop in the drill rig count. Production is forecast to fall in the United States according to the latest EIA predictions however, Bakken tight oil could actually grow to a new record as drillers are incentivized to complete wells within one year for tax benefits. Pressure on prices continues to be offset by building long speculative positions. The spread between WTI and Brent has closed to just over $5.50 and could close further as production ramps higher.