Oil prices jump on expectations for drawdown in U.S. crude supplies as investors keep eye on OPEC+

Oil prices rose strongly Wednesday, boosted after data from an industry trade group showed a large decline in U.S. crude inventories as traders also awaited results of expected talks between members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies on easing production cuts.

West Texas Intermediate crude for August delivery
on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 57 cents, or 1.4%, to $40.86 a barrel. September Brent crude
the global benchmark, was 49 cents higher, up 1.1%, at $43.39 a barrel.

The American Petroleum Institute reported late Tuesday that U.S. crude supplies fell by 8.3 million barrels last week, according to sources. The API data also reportedly showed gasoline stockpiles down by 3.6 million barrels, while distillate inventories climbed by 3 million barrels. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, storage hub, meanwhile, edged up by 548,000 barrels.

More closely watched data from the Energy Information Administration is due Wednesday morning. The EIA data are expected to show crude inventories declined by 2.1 million barrels last week, according to analysts polled by S&P Global Platts. They also forecast supply a declines of 2 million barrels for gasoline and an increase of 1.1 million barrels for distillate inventories.

Meanwhile, traders remain focused on the meeting of the OPEC+ Joint Ministerial Monitoring Committee amid reports Saudi Arabia and its allies are pushing for the alliance to stick to its plan to begin trimming output curbs by around 2 million barrels a day beginning next month.

“The group is widely expected to increase its production by 2 million [barrels a day] in August but a rollover of the current cuts could prove supportive for prices,” wrote analysts at JBC Energy, a Vienna-based consulting firm, in a note.

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