Global crude oil prices have edged up as investors anticipate a supply curbs extension from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) in the upcoming meeting to support prices amid increasing Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe.
Brent crude futures increased by $0.15, or 0.2%, to reach $64.29 a barrel while the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $0.15, or 0.3%, to reach $60.70 a barrel, reported Reuters.
Commonwealth Bank commodities analyst Vivek Dhar was cited by the news agency as saying: “The expectation is OPEC+ is going to show supply discipline, so that’s pivoting the market.”
Last month, OPEC+ agreed to extend supply curbs but with exception of Russia and Kazakhstan, due to reduced fuel demand as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. A meeting of the OPEC+ is scheduled for 1 April.
Under existing curbs, Saudi Arabia-led OPEC and Russia-led non-OPEC producers have cut more than seven million barrels per day.
Saudi Arabia, which has already made an additional voluntary cut of one million barrels per day, is considering an extension of supply cuts into June. This also includes the country’s own voluntary supply cut to support prices, a source briefed on the matter told the news agency.
According to American Petroleum Institute industry group data, US crude oil stocks increased by 3.9 million barrels in the week ending 26 March, an increase to the analysts’ expectation for a build of about 100,000 barrels in a Reuters’ poll.