Oil prices have edged down as data from industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) highlighted a rise in crude US stockpiles.

This reduced hopes of a smoother fuel demand recovery.

Brent crude futures fell $1.10 to $33.64 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures dropped $1.44 at $31.37 per barrel, Reuters reported.

Data released by API highlighted a rise in US crude inventories by 8.7 million barrels in the week that ended on 22 May.

Gasoline stocks increased by 1.1 million barrels, while diesel stocks and heating oil rose by about 6.9 million barrels.

AxiCorp chief global markets strategist Stephen Innes was quoted by the news agency as saying: “A surprise to consensus API (American Petroleum Institute) inventory build (data) and fear of Russia turning up production weighs on oil prices.”

“As is often the case during a run-up up to an OPEC+ meeting, the focus is squarely on Russia’s commitment and understandably so as historically they have been the laggard within the OPEC+.”

Investors are awaiting data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) which is due to be released later today.

National Australia Bank commodity research head Lachlan Shaw said: “It just indicates that demand recovery is progressing but it’s not strong enough yet to be really self-sustaining.”

Now that WTI stands above $30 a barrel, OPEC+ is keen to see if US oil shale oil producers with breakeven prices of above $20 and below $30 dollar range would ramp up production.