Brent crude futures edged up 5 cents to $ 71.49 per barrel at 2:16 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 4 cents to $ 69.29 .
The administration of US President Joe Biden on Wednesday urged the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC +, to increase oil production to cope with rising oil prices. gasoline they see as a threat to the global economic recovery.
Data from the US Energy Information Administration showed on Wednesday that the fuel demand of the world’s largest user of crude averaged 20.6 million barrels per day (bpd) over the past four weeks, roughly online. with 2019 levels, and US refiners slightly increased the amount of crude they processed last week.
OPEC agreed in July to increase production each month by 400,000 bpd from the previous month, starting in August, until the remainder of their record cuts of 10 million bpd, or about 10 % of global demand, achieved in 2020 be gradually phased out.
However, there are still concerns that the increase may not be enough to meet demand as the United States and Europe relax their coronavirus-induced movement restrictions.
“The Biden administration has said the recently agreed production increases will not fully offset previous production cuts imposed during the pandemic,” ANZ said in a note.
The White House later said its OPEC + outreach was ongoing and aimed at long-term engagement, not necessarily an immediate response.
The administration added that it had not called on U.S. producers to increase production, which led the market to the upside on Wednesday, said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Other data from the EIA report weighed on prices. U.S. crude oil inventories edged down last week, lagging behind expectations, while gasoline inventories plunged to their lowest level since November. The more volatile weekly demand figures also declined.