Crude oil futures settled lower on Wednesday after data showed a notable increase in crude inventory in the U.S., and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) postponed a key meeting by four days.
OPEC and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, were scheduled to meet on Sunday (November 26) to decide, among other things, their stance on output cuts. The meeting is now postponed to November 30th.
OPEC has not given any reason for the postponement. The group is expected to announce additional production cuts.
According to reports, Saudi Arabia is finding it tough to convince Angola and Nigeria to accept lower output targets.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for January ended down $0.67 or about 0.86% at $77.10 a barrel, after having tumbled to $73.85 a barrel earlier in the day.
Brent crude futures settled at $81.96 a barrel today, losing $0.49 or about 0.59%.
Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed crude inventories, excluding the strategic reserve, increased by 8.7 million barrels in the week ended November 17th, substantially higher than an expected increase of about 1.2 million barrels.
The EIA data also showed that gasoline stockpiles surged 749,000 barrels last week, as against forecasts for a drop of about 150,000 barrels, while distillate stockpiles fell by 1.02 million barrels in the week, against expectations for a 761,000-barrel decline.
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