Oil prices went down on Thursday as US inventories rose and production amped up after Hurricane Irma devastated the US oil capital, Texas. The prices decline was accentuated by stronger dollar affecting consumption in countries using other currencies at home.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $56.13 a barrel at 0134 GMT, down 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, from their last close.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $50.68 per barrel, down 1 cent from the last settlement.
US inventories have continued to rise for the last three weeks consecutively, as US refineries resume operations following refinery shutdown in Texas, US. U.S. commercial crude oil inventories rose for a third straight week, building by 4.6 million barrels in the week ending Sept. 15, to 472.83 million barrels.
But analysts anticipate a demand surge could be seen if OPEC and members extend cuts as international oil supply tightens and glut wanes. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is all set to meet in Vienna on Friday to examine the oil markets and decide on future production cuts and extensions thereof. Only yesterday, Iraq hinted that it is on board should the cartel decide to extend or even deepen the cuts.
Otherwise, exempt members; Nigeria and Libya, from the OPEC cuts agreement, may also be brought in the fold of production cuts deal.