Oil prices remained steady near $79 amid forecasts of falling crude inventories and rising refined product stocks in the US.

For September delivery, US crude dropped 8¢ to stand at $78.90 a barrel at 03.10 ET, while London Brent crude fell 14¢ to $77.37 a barrel, according to Reuters.

Crude inventories are expected to fall 1.8 million barrels while distillate and petrol are expected to gain this week, a Reuters poll showed.