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Oil prices inch higher amid supply concerns and ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting

Oil prices are edging higher Wednesday after notable falls in recent days. The increase comes as the supply from Libya dropped and also as Iran, among others, has made clear it will oppose any plans to raise output at the meeting of oil producing countries in Vienna this week.

By around 1330 BST, the price of Brent Crude oil was 0.27% higher at $75.28 per barrel. The price of US WTI crude oil, meanwhile, was up 0.37% at $65.14.

Investor caution ahead of OPEC meeting

The oil price lost ground last week as expectations that the OPEC meeting could result in an increased output level intensified. However, the price of the valuable commodity has stabilised a little amid a number of developments.

They include:

  • The collapse of an oil storage tanker in Libya, that reportedly holds some 400,00 barrels of oil.
  • A 3-million-barrel decline in US crude oil inventories.
  • News that Iran, among other oil producing countries, is opposed to plans to increase output at the OPEC meeting.

“Every decision in OPEC needs unanimity, and I don't believe in this meeting we can reach agreement,” Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Tuesday, according to a CNBC report.

Uncertainty amid upcoming OPEC meeting

The uncertainty ahead of Friday’s OPEC meeting comes as Saudi Arabia – a member of OPEC – and Russia – who isn’t but is an attendee of the meetings and part of the output cap agreement that’s currently in place, both support an increase in output amid a number of developments which is dragging down global output levels.

Both countries have the capacity to increase their oil output and would benefit from a larger output, even if the price of oil were top fall a little, because if it.

Reports suggest analysts and investors are currently anticipating the oil output cap could be removed in favour of a gradual increase in output.

As of 13:45 BST, Wednesday, 20 June, Oil share price is $49.59.

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