LONDON, Aug 3 – Oil prices inched up on Wednesday, erasing earlier losses, as the OPEC+ producer group was set for a small output increase of 100,000 barrels per day, a document seen by Reuters showed, dashing U.S. hopes of a meaningful supply boost.
Brent crude futures were up 78 cents, or 0.8%, at $101.32 a barrel at 1150 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 94 cents, or 1%, to $95.36 a barrel.
The premium for front-month Brent futures over barrels loading in six months’ time is at a three-month low, indicating worries about current tight supply are abating.
Ministers for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, are poised to agree the small output increase, equal to about 0.1% of global oil demand, a document showed.
While the United States has asked the group to boost output, spare capacity is limited and Saudi Arabia may be reluctant to beef up output at the expense of OPEC+ partner Russia, hit by sanctions due to the Ukraine conflict.
Ahead of the meeting, OPEC+ trimmed its forecast for the oil market surplus this year by 200,000 barrels per day (bpd), to 800,000 bpd, three delegates told Reuters.
Meanwhile, data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed U.S. crude stocks rose by about 2.2 million barrels for the week ended July 29. Gasoline inventories fell by 200,000 barrels and distillate stocks by about 350,000 barrels.
Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) are due at 1430 GMT.