“Demand growth is strengthening,” the IEA said in its monthly oil-market report. “Based on recent bets made by investors, expectations are that markets are tightening and that prices will rise, albeit very modestly.”
Oil traded near $48 a barrel as the International Energy Agency forecast the strongest demand growth in two years, while OPEC was said to discuss prolonging output cuts further into 2018.
Futures gained 0.2% in New York after rising 1.6% the previous two sessions. The EIA boosted its forecast on stronger-than-expected consumption in Europe and the US. and said that inventories of refined products are subsiding to their five-year average. A sixth-month extension to supply curbs from the end of MArch is one of the options being considered by OPEC and its allies, according to a person familiar with the matter.
Crude oil prices edged lower on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show a larger-than-expected gain in U.S. crude stockpiles as Hurricanes Harvey and Irma weighed on demand.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report at 17:30. Analysts expect crude oil inventories rose by around 3.2 million barrels at the end of last week. If confirmed, it would mark the second weekly gain in a row.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories increased by roughly 6.2 million barrels in the week ended September 8.
It was the second straight build after Hurricane Harvey shut production in some Gulf of Mexico fields and refineries in Texas as some domestic producers also trimmed output to avoid a larger glut at storage.