Oil prices extended losses from the previous session and fell more than 1% on Thursday after OPEC+ postponed its ministerial meeting, prompting speculation that producers may reduce output by less than previously anticipated.
Brent futures were down $1.02, or 1.2 percent, at $80.94 a barrel at 0625 GMT, after falling as much as 4 percent on Wednesday. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) fell 87 cents, or 1.1%, to $76.23 a barrel, after falling as much as 5% in the previous session.
Trade is expected to remain quiet due to the Thanksgiving holiday in the US.
In a surprise move, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, postponed the ministerial meeting, where they were expected to discuss oil production cuts, until November 30.
OPEC+ sources, however, said this was linked to African countries, which are smaller producers in the group, which somewhat eased investor concerns.
This was said to be linked to African countries being smaller producers in the group and eased investors’ concerns. It is rumored that Angola, Congo, and Nigeria are trying to increase their 2024 supply quotas above the temporary levels agreed at the OPEC+ June meeting.
Additionally, the calculations are being made to increase the UAE’s quota by reducing the targets for African countries that underperform the required production figures.
While Angola and Congo produced below their 2024 production targets, Nigeria managed to increase production above the target due to the improved security situation in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
Nigeria is significant for its longstanding OPEC membership and growing ties with Saudi Arabia. But it may be harder to bridge the gap with Angola, which has been a more pessimistic member of the producer group since joining.
Disagreement between members is likely to increase market volatility over the next week.
Question marks about OPEC+ supply came as data showed US crude oil inventories rose by 8.7 million barrels last week; This was well above the 1.16 million barrel increase analysts expected.
U.S. oil rigs remained unchanged at 500 in the week to Nov. 22, energy services company Baker Hughes said in a report on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Coast Guard said Wednesday that about 3% of crude oil production in the Gulf of Mexico, or about 61,165 barrels per day, has been shut down due to an underwater pipeline leak.