Oil Up as OPEC Considers Rollover

Oil prices rose on Wednesday, boosted by expectations that producers connected with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries might decide against increasing output when they meet this week, while signs of progress in the coronavirus vaccine rollout in the United States gave further support.

Brent oil was up $1.28, or 2%, to $63.98 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.17, or 2%, to $60.92 a barrel.

Oil prices jumped after Reuters reported based on three sources that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, a group known as OPEC+, are considering rolling over production cuts from March into April rather than raising output.

The group meets on Thursday. The market had been widely expecting OPEC+ to ease production cuts.

The industry group known as the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported U.S. crude stocks rose by 7.4 million barrels in the week to Feb. 26, in stark contrast to analysts’ estimates for a draw of 928,000 barrels.

However, that rise occurred while U.S. refining capacity was shut during the survey week because of cold weather in Texas. Refinery runs fell by 1.75 million bpd, API data showed.