Oil prices have declined due to a growth in US crude oil stockpiles and expectations of a potential increase in output led by Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
The decreased prices come after oil futures witnessed a rally in the previous session. A meeting is to be held between OPEC and other producers in Vienna, Austria, next month.
Brent crude futures fell by 38 cents, or 0.5%, to trade at $77.12 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude dipped 20 cents, or 0.3%, to reach $68.01, Reuters reported.
Earlier this week, oil prices saw a downward pressure after reaching levels close to $80 a barrel in the previous week.
However, prices rebounded on Wednesday after the Central Bank of Russia took a cautious view on plans to increase oil supply.
On the other hand, some analysts were not perturbed by the potential rise in supplies in view of positive market fundamentals.
Singapore-based broker Phillip Futures commodities analyst Benjamin Lu was quoted by the news agency as saying: “Though crude oil has receded significantly in the charts, market fundamentals remain supportive as robust global demand and declining stockpiles bolster prices upwards.”
Bucking the global trend of falling inventories, the US crude stockpiles surged by one million barrels to reach 434.9 million barrels in the week to 25 May, as disclosed by data from the American Petroleum Institute (API).
In response to possible supply restrictions in Venezuela and Iran, Saudi Arabia and Russia are contemplating raising production by around one million barrels a day.
The upcoming meeting in Vienna assumes significance as the producers are expected to take a stand on whether to continue with their ongoing supply cuts.