An oil tanker is loaded in Saudi Arabia. Picture: REUTERS
An oil tanker is loaded in Saudi Arabia. Picture: REUTERS

London — Oil prices rose on Wednesday before an Opec+ meeting in which the producer club is expected to stick to a plan to add 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month to the end of December.

Oil cartel Opec and Opec+ are set to meet at 3pm GMT. It raised its forecast for oil demand next year, Opec+ sources said, a move that might help build a case for raising output.

Brent crude for November delivery gained 36 cents, or 0.5%, to touch $71.99 a barrel by 8.50am GMT. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for October was at $68.81 a barrel, up 31c, or 0.5%.

US President Joe Biden's administration has urged Opec+ to boost output to tackle rising petrol prices that it views as a threat to the global economic recovery.

“One foregone conclusion is that they will not add additional barrels as per Washington's recent request. Nor will they press the pause button on easing supply curbs,” said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM.

“There is no reason to think (Opec+) will rock the boat when it comes to its production strategy,” he said.

Also supporting prices, a US industry report showed crude inventories fell more than expected last week, steadying after overnight losses caused by Hurricane Ida on US refineries.

US crude stocks fell by 4-million barrels for the week ended August 27, according to two market sources, citing American Petroleum Institute (API) figures on Tuesday.

But US crude prices are expected to remain under pressure as offshore oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico gradually recovers, although refinery operations will likely take longer to return to normal, analysts say.

Reuters

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