The price of Brent crude oil declined towards $58 a barrel today as industry data is anticipated to reveal excess in US inventories because of ample supply.

Reuters reported that Brent futures for April dropped 50 cents to $58.40 a barrel and US crude was down 50 cents at $48.95.

The American Petroleum Institute is due to reveal its data later today and the US Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration on Wednesday,

A Reuters survey forecast figures from both the agencies are expected to reveal US crude stocks increased by four million barrels to a record high last week.

Commerzbank senior oil and commodities analyst Carsten Fritsch was quoted by the news agency as saying: "The fundamental backdrop is still bearish," adding that there was a ‘huge over-supply in the market’.

"We expect another strong increase in US crude inventories to be reported."

Meanwhile, the refinery strike in the US is in its fourth week. Negotiations to end the strike are not anticipated to restart this week.

A report in The Financial Times on Monday quoted Nigeria’s Oil Minister as saying the country would call an OPEC extraordinary meeting if prices declined further, providing some support to oil prices.

However, a delegate to the OPEC told Reuters on Tuesday that the group had no plans to meet before June.