Oil prices edge higher ahead of OPEC+ meeting

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices edged higher on Tuesday ahead of a meeting where major producers are expected to stick to plans to add supply in February.

Brent crude futures rose 26 cents to $79.24 a barrel at 0541 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures gained 22 cents to $76.30 per barrel.

The two benchmark contracts both climbed more than 1% on Monday.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and allies – together called OPEC+ – are due to meet on Tuesday.

The Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee is due to meet at 1200 GMT, followed by a ministerial meeting at 1300 GMT, both by videoconference, Reuters reported.

Reuters cited three OPEC+ sources as saying that the group is likely to stick to its plan to increase output by 400,000 barrels per day in February.

RBC Capital Markets analysts said OPEC+ was unlikely to change course given the current price outlook, pressure from the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden to boost supply, and no major new COVID-19 mobility curbs, according to Reuters.

“Though Omicron [COVID-19 variant] cases continue to climb in key geographies, the absence of widespread lockdown restrictions will likely keep near-term demand concerns in check,” RBC analysts said in a note.

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