Oil rises on prospect of OPEC+ maintaining supply cuts, drop in U.S. inventories

A pump jack operates in the Permian Basin oil and natural gas production area near Odessa, Texas. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices extended gains on Thursday, as the possibility that OPEC+ producers might decide against increasing output at a key meeting later in the day lent support, alongside a drop in U.S. fuel inventories.

Brent crude futures rose 45 cents to $64.52 per barrel at 0555 GMT, after climbing more than 2% on Wednesday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 37 cents to $61.65 a barrel.

OPEC+, including the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, are considering rolling over production cuts into April instead of raising output, Reuters cited three sources from the group as saying.

Reuters reported that the market had been expecting OPEC+ to ease output cuts by around 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) from April.

“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report, according to Reuters.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil stockpiles surged by a record of more than 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to an all-time low due to the Texas freeze that knocked out power for millions.

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