SINGAPORE”•Oil prices posted marginal gains in Asia Wednesday as an industry report showing a decline in US stockpiles was offset by worries about the chances of this week’s key producers meeting ending with a deal to limit output.
The American Petroleum Institute said Tuesday US supplies fell by 752,000 barrels last week, fueling hopes official figures later in the day will also show lower inventories in the world’s top economy and oil consumer.
However, there are fears a deal between Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia this week will not be struck when they meet in Algeria to discuss a global supply glut and overproduction that has hammered prices for two years.
On the eve of the gathering Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh told reporters: “It’s not in our agenda to reach an agreement in two days. We need time for more consultation.”
Tehran’s position means other participants”•particularly regional rival and Opec kingpin Saudi Arabia”•are unlikely to join in any concerted plan to limit output.
At around 0715 GMT, US benchmark West Texas Intermediate for delivery in November was up 30 cents at $44.87 and Brent crude for November added 27 cents to $46.24.
“It’s the API data that’s driving the bounceback in Asia,” Angus Nicholson, a Melbourne-based analyst with IG Markets, told AFP.