TOKYO (Reuters) – Oil prices eased Tuesday after hitting their highest levels in years in the previous session over the decision by OPEC and major allied oil producers to maintain the restriction on supply .
Brent crude was down 3 cents to $ 81.83 a barrel at 12:54 a.m. GMT, after rising 2.5% on Monday. US oil West Texas Intermediate (WTI) lost 10 cents to $ 77.52, after gaining 2.3% in the previous session.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, including Russia, collectively known as OPEC +, said on Monday they would maintain a deal to increase oil production only gradually, ignoring the calls from the United States and India to increase production as the world’s economy recovers, however unevenly, from the coronavirus pandemic.
Oil prices have already risen by more than 50% this year, a rise that has added to inflationary pressures fearing that crude-consuming countries will derail the recovery from the pandemic.
The OPEC + decision reflects “a lack of urgency within the group to increase production over the expected surplus next year and limited capacity with key producers,” Barclays analyst Amarpreet Singh said in a note.
The rise in the price of crude overnight “seems a little disproportionate given that ministers have just reaffirmed the decision announced in July, but it shows how tight the market is,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, US inventories of crude oil and distillate likely fell last week, according to a preliminary Reuters poll. [EIA/S]
Five analysts polled by Reuters estimated on average that crude inventories fell by about 300,000 barrels in the week to October 1.
(Reporting by Aaron Sheldrick, editing by Kenneth Maxwell)