Oil futures moved higher Wednesday as news reports said the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries its allies will approve a small output increase that’s seen as largely symbolic.
September natural gas
gained 0.9% to $7.779 per million British thermal units.
OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to raise production by 100,000 barrels a day in September, news reports said, a move that analysts didn’t expect to significantly affect prices. The move comes after U.S. President Joe Biden last month visited Saudi Arabia, OPEC’s de facto leader and swing producer.
The price of crude was seen as “unlikely to move much,” even in the event of a modest increase in production “as members of the oil cartel haven’t been hitting their output targets,” said Ricardo Evangelista, senior analyst at ActivTrades, in a note ahead of the decision.
Supply data will also be in focus Wednesday. The American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday said U.S. crude inventories rose 2.2 million barrels last week, Dow Jones Newswires reported, while gasoline inventories fell 204,000 barrels.
The Energy Information Administration’s official figures are due Wednesday morning. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Commodity Insights, on average, look for crude stocks to fall by 1.7 million barrels, while gasoline inventories are seen down 1.5 million barrels and distillate supplies are expected to show a decline of 500,000 barrels.