Oil prices fell to the lowest in almost six weeks on Tuesday as concerns over a potential rise in USA crude stocks, adding to swelling oversupply, outweighed OPEC comments that a possible production freeze agreement could last longer than expected.
Brent crude futures were at $46.59 per barrel at 0301 GMT, up 82 cents, or 1.8 percent, from their previous settlement.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose $1.29, or 2.9 percent, to settle at $45.34.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has said that a deal could be announced this month to stabilize oil markets, which have come under pressure due to a persistent glut and a price collapse over the past two years. OPEC plans to hold informal talks with competitor Russian Federation in Algiers, fanning speculation that producers may agree on an output cap to shore up prices. "We're close to a deal between OPEC producer countries and non-OPEC", Maduro told a news conference.
Oil needs another six to nine months to stabilize within a range of $50 to $60 a barrel, Algeria's Bouterfa said.
The commodity plunged last week on supply glut worries but bounced slightly Monday after OPEC member Venezuela said a deal to limit output was close. However, fighting erupted in Libya on Sunday as UN-backed unity government forces attempted to retake oil ports seized last week by a rival administration.
OPEC may call meeting if consensus at Algiers was posted in Business of TheNews International - https://www.thenews.com.pk on September 20, 2016 and was last updated on September 20, 2016.
CMC Markets Singapore analyst Margaret Yang said traders are also "waiting for this week's (US) crude inventory data to find clues of any changes of the supply-demand relationship".
Analysts also forecast the weekly United States commercial crude inventories to register a significant increase, which would further add to stubborn supply glut concerns. US crude was up 78 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $43.81 a barrel. OPEC must reach an equitable agreement that all its members support, and any accord must also satisfy non-OPEC producers, he said.
OPEC will hold an informal meeting on the afternoon of September 28 after the closing session of the International Energy Forum conference, Bouterfa said.
Zero Hedge noted that barrel prices are expected to remain "rangebound" until the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' unofficial meeting in Algiers next week, which many are hoping will end with some sort of agreement to curb OPEC's crude oil production.
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