Oil prices are falling for concerns about demand and market volatility
Oil prices fell between 1 and 2 percent on Thursday amid swings in currency and equity markets and concerns that an economic slowdown in 2019 would reduce demand for crude as supplies grow.
By 0550 GMT, WTI crude futures fell 2.2 percent, or 1.01 dollars, from the last settlement to $ 45.53 a barrel.
Brent crude futures fell 1.4 percent, or 76 cents, to $ 54.15 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia is expected to cut crude oil prices to Asia in February by as much as 50 cents per barrel due to shrinking fuel oil margins, a Reuters survey said on Thursday.
Markets were hit by a 3 percent fall in the dollar against the yen overnight and a drop in sales by Apple.
China's economic slowdown and volatility in the stock and currency markets are causing investors to strain including oil markets.
Oil markets are under increasing pressure due to oversupply, coupled with expectations of a slowdown in demand growth.
Crude production from the United States hit a record high of 11.7 million bpd in late 2018, making it the world's largest oil producer.
The production rate from Russia reached a record high of more than 11 million barrels per day in 2018. Production of Iraq, OPEC's second largest crude producer, rose to 3.73 million bpd in December, up from 3.37 million bpd in November.