Oil prices traded near $57 a barrel before U.S. data forecast to show crude stockpiles in the world’s biggest consumer fell for a fifth week.
Futures rose 0.3 percent in New York after slipping 0.2 percent on Monday. Inventories probably lost 3 million barrels last week, according to a Bloomberg survey before Energy Information Administration data Wednesday. Nigerian oil workers suspended strike action and agreed to continue talks next month, a union spokesman said, while output from a Libyan field returned to normal after a power outage Saturday, said a person familiar with the matter.
Oil has rallied the past three months as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies reduce supply to drain a global glut. The unprecedented cooperation among producers has pushed prices this year to average almost $51 a barrel, on their way to a second annual advance.
“Rebalancing is moving in the right direction,” said Ric Spooner, a Sydney-based analyst at CMC Markets. “The higher the price, the greater the incentive for new supply and that really is the dynamic to be watching. Everybody will also be watching Middle East politics, which is progressively deteriorating.”
The Nigerian oil workers’ union, Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) suspended its planned nationwide strike Monday, agreeing to talks next month following the intervention of the Country’s director of state security service, Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Productivity, and Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.
PENGASSAN giving reasons for the strike had earlier alleged anti-labour practices against some of its members by some indigenous oil companies.
West Texas Intermediate for January delivery, which expires Tuesday, added 19 cents to $57.35 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded was about 44 percent below the 100-day average. The more-active February futures rose 21 cents to $57.43 at 7:50 a.m. in London.
Brent for February settlement climbed 12 cents to $63.53 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange after rising 0.3 percent on Monday. The global benchmark traded at a premium of $6.09 to February WTI.
U.S. crude stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for WTI and the nation’s biggest oil-storage hub, probably fell by 2.2 million barrels last week, according to a forecast compiled by Bloomberg. That would be a sixth weekly drop, the longest run since July, according to EIA data.