Oil slipped to about $60 a barrel on Wednesday, pressured by rising U.S. inventories and doubts over whether an OPEC-led output cut will be agreed next week.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group said on Tuesday before Saudi Arabia dampened hopes of production cuts by OPEC and its allies by saying on Wednesday that it would not act alone and Nigeria stopped short of committing to a new push to curb supplies.
The API said that U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.5 million barrels, more than analysts forecast. The government’s official supply report is due at 1530 GMT.
The outcome of next week’s OPEC meeting “remains clouded by uncertainty”, said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. “Elsewhere, a glut of stored oil in the U.S. shows no sign of waning.”
Brent crude, the global benchmark, fell 27 cents to $59.94 a barrel at 1119 GMT after trading as high as $61.27. U.S. crude was down 10 cents at $51.46.
The price of Brent has slumped by more than 30 percent from a four-year high above $86 in early October, pressured by concerns that supply will exceed demand in 2019 as economic growth slows.
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) plus Russia and other allies meet on Dec. 6-7. Producers are discussing a supply curb of 1 million to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) and possibly more, OPEC delegates have told Reuters.
“OPEC needs to cut if it wants the market to be a little less oversupplied in the first half of 2019,” said Petromatrix analyst Olivier Jakob.