Title: Crude Oil Lower; OPEC+ Meeting in Focus
Feb 01, 2022 08:58AM ET
Oil prices eased on Tuesday, falling back from a seven-year high, as speculation grew that a group of major producers could increase global supply at a meeting later this week.
At 9 a.m. ET, U.S. crude futures were trading 1.1 percent lower at $87.20 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.2 percent to $88.33.
RBOB futures for US gasoline were 0.7% lower at $2.5354 a gallon.
The Russia-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Allies (OPEC+) meets on Wednesday to discuss future output levels and is widely expected to stick to its strategy of a cautious 400,000 barrels per day per month increase, which it has been pursuing since August last year.
However, influential investment bank Goldman Sachs suggested in a note on January 31 that the rise in oil prices towards the $90 per barrel mark could prompt the cartel to announce a bigger increase in output than expected.
The crude market has soared this year as energy consumption has recovered from the pandemic, while supply growth has been muted.
Both oil benchmarks hit their highest levels since October 2014 on Friday, with prices recently fueled by geopolitical uncertainty related to Russia's troop build-up on its border with Ukraine, unrest in the Middle East and recent freezing weather in the US.
Later in the session, attention will turn to the first of this week's upcoming US supply reports. The American Petroleum Institute will release its report at 4:30 PM ET. Analysts expect crude oil inventories to have risen by 1.8 million barrels.