Oil Prices Dip Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting

Oil Prices Dip Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Storage tanks are seen at Marathon Petroleum's Los Angeles Refinery, which processes domestic & imported crude oil into California Air Resources Board (CARB), gasoline, diesel fuel, and other petroleum products, in Carson, Calif., on March 11, 2022. (Bing Guan/Reuters)

LONDON—Oil prices dipped on Wednesday ahead of a meeting of OPEC+ producers at which producers are expected to keep output steady with spare capacity limited and against the backdrop of fears that a slowdown in global growth will hit fuel demand.

Brent crude futures were down $1.34, or 1.3 percent, at $99.20 a barrel at 0815 GMT. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell $1.28, or 1.4 percent, to $93.14 a barrel.

The premium for front-month Brent futures over barrels loading in six months' time is at a three-month low, indicating worries about current tight supply are abating.

Ministers for members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, together known as OPEC+, meet on Wednesday from 1130 GMT.

"Even if the OPEC+ group did declare a small increase, the gesture would be largely symbolic given that very few members have the capacity to materially increase production," said PVM analyst Stephen Brennock.

"Either way, OPEC will be wary of rocking the boat given the current volatile and turbulent state of the oil market."

Meanwhile, data from the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, showed U.S. crude stocks rose by about 2.2 million barrels for the week ended July 29. Gasoline inventories fell by 200,000 barrels and distillate stocks by about 350,000 barrels.

Official data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is due at 1430 GMT.

By Shadia Nasralla
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