Oil Surges as Producers Agree to Meet Over the Freezing of Output

16 March, 2016

The prices of oil edged up in European trade on Wednesday, after OPEC and non-OPEC producers agreed to conduct a meeting about freezing production on April 17 in Doha, Qatar, even though Iran will not attend.

Brent for May delivery rallied by 1.34 percent or 52 cents, to hit $39.26 by 5:05 AM ET.

Meanwhile, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude oil for April delivery gained 1.82 percent or 66 cents to $37.00 per barrel. This move to the upside comes amid speculation that the weekly supply data, which will be released later in the day will reflect a slower than expected pace of increase in US crude inventories during the prior week.

The industry group American Petroleum Institute stated that the US oil stockpiles increased by just 1.5 million barrels in the week which ended on March 11. This figure is below the forecast of a 3.4 million barrel gain.

According to the industry group, crude supply at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US crude rose by 471,000 barrels. Meanwhile, distillate and gasoline inventories shed 830,000 and 1.2 million barrels, respectively.

Since plunging to 13-year lows at $26.05 on Feb 11, WTI futures have recovered by about 35 percent, as a drop in US shale output boosted sentiment. However, market analysts warned that conditions in the market are still weak because of an ongoing domestic oversupply.

The premium of Brent to WTI crude stood at $2.26 per barrel, in comparison to a gap of $2.40 by the close of Tuesday’s session.

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