Oil drops as Iran signals support for OPEC production rise
Oil prices fell on Thursday as Iran signaled it could be won over to a small rise in OPEC crude output, potentially paving the way for the producer cartel to agree a supply increase during a meeting on Friday.
However, prices were prevented from dropping further by robust U.S. fuel demand seen in record refinery runs, strong travel data and a large decline in crude inventories.
Brent crude futures (LCOc1) were at $74.33 per barrel at 0426 GMT, down 41 cents, or 0.55 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures (CLc1) were at $65.50 a barrel, down 21 cents, or 0.3 percent.
Iran, a major supplier within the producer cartel of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), signaled on Wednesday it could agree on a small increase in the group’s output during a meeting to be held at OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna on June 22 together with non-OPEC member but top producer Russia.
Oil Prices Ease As Iranian Oil Minister Said He Supports Modest Supply Hike
Oil prices eased on Thursday as Iranian Oil Minister indicated Iran could accept a modest supply hike ahead of a key OPEC meeting in Vienna on Friday.
Crude Oil WTI Futures for August delivery were trading at $65.50 a barrel at 12:45AM ET (04:45 GMT), down 0.27%.
Brent Oil Futures for August delivery, traded in London, were also down 0.51% at $74.36 per barrel.
Meanwhile, Shanghai Crude Oil WTI Futures for September delivery were down 0.24% at 461.1 yuan per barrel on Thursday.
The OPEC is expected to agree to raise production along with Russia and other producers after a key meeting in Vienna on Friday.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday that he was feeling “very good” about OPEC’s production levels and indicated Iran could accept a modest supply hike, contracting his comments on Wednesday where he doubted OPEC could reach a deal this week.
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