Oil held gains near $51 a barrel as OPEC Secretary-General Mohammad Barkindo reiterated a rapid market re-balancing is under way, and as
US production was again
disrupted by a storm.
Futures added 0.8 percent in New York after advancing 3.3 percent in the previous two sessions. The global economic recovery has gained traction and oil de-stocking gathered momentum over the summer, Barkindo said. Oil producers in the US Gulf have cut output by 1.02 million barrels a day, or about 59 percent, because of Tropical Storm Nate, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
Oil has inched higher in the past few days after the biggest weekly loss since May amid speculation rising global output may offset supply curbs led by members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. US crude stockpiles probably fell by 2.4 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before an Energy Information Administration report.
“OPEC is talking to a market which is currently prepared to listen, given the visible improvements seen during the past few months,” said Ole Sloth Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S.
West Texas Intermediate for November delivery was at $51.31 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up 39 cents, at 10:31 a.m. in London. Total volume traded was about 19 percent below the 100-day average. Prices rose $1.34 to $50.92 on Tuesday, the biggest gain in two weeks.
Brent for December settlement rose 33 cents to $56.94 on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The contract increased 82 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $56.61 a barrel. The global benchmark crude traded at a premium of $5.41 to December WTI.
Pierre Andurand’s hedge fund trailed the oil price rally last month, posting a 2.4 percent gain, compared with the nearly 10 percent boost for Brent crude, according to people familiar with the performance. Producers should not extend supply cuts beyond their expiry at the end of March if prices rise to $60 a barrel, according to Vagit Alekperov, chief executive
officer of Russia’s Lukoil PJSC.