Oil prices up as OPEC+ set to meet
Oil prices climbed up on Thursday, boosted by lower US inventories, as investors await key producers’ decisions on whether they would keep up or alleviate supply cuts in the second half of the year.
For September, Brent crude went up 17 cents, 0.2%, to $74.79 a barrel by 0355 GMT while US West Texas Intermediate crude was at $73.68 a barrel, up 21 cents, or 0.3% close to its 2018 high of $74.45 for August.
WTI flew more than 10% in June while Brent gained over 8% as summer travel peaked and more people got vaccinated.
Analysts had projected a wider supply deficit globally in the second half as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies (OPEC+) maintained production cuts while demand rises.
OPEC+ is winding down supply cuts between May and July by 2.1 million barrels per day and will meet on Thursday to decide whether it will leave production as it is or increase production, possibly by more than 1 million bpd or by a more conservative 0.5 million bpd in August. The group is also expected to hold talks on whether it would extend the supply reduction deal past April 2022.
In the US last week, crude stockpiles continued to fall for the sixth straight week amid the continuing rise in demand.