(Bloomberg) – Oil topped $ 84 a barrel as traders weighed the possibility that OPEC + might not accelerate the pace of its growing supply, pending the latest information on trends in U.S. crude stocks.

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West Texas Intermediate climbed 0.3%, extending a three-day gain, as Brent rose. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies meet on Thursday to define production policy. Members, including Kuwait, have said there is no need to add barrels faster, although major consumers, including the United States, have urged them to do so. If that happens, the Biden administration could release crude from strategic reserves, according to RBC Capital Markets.

The backdrop for the next cartel rally was marked by the rapid drop in oil inventories in the United States, which fell to their lowest level in three years at the main storage facility in Cushing, Oklahoma. Later Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute will release estimates for Cushing as well as nationwide holdings.

Oil hit a seven-year high in October as consumption resumed with the end of the pandemic. This depleted stocks just as a gas-centric energy crisis stoked additional demand. Among recent estimates, Bank of America Corp. indicates that Brent crude will climb to $ 120 a barrel by the end of June 2022.

“It is likely that OPEC + will maintain its current increase of 400,000 barrels per day, turning a deaf ear to the United States, and the market has already taken in that,” said John Driscoll, director of JTD Energy Services Pte, based in Singapore. “On top of that, the switch from gas to oil will support market fundamentals.”

Japan, a major importer of crude, said the surge in oil fueled growing concern among consumers. While ruling out drawing on its own reserves, at least for now, Tokyo was coordinating its position with the International Energy Agency and the United States, the Minister of Trade and Industry told reporters, Koichi Hagiuda.

The overall uptrend in the crude market is reflected in strongly biased pricing patterns, with short-term contracts trading above those more distant. A barrel of WTI for next December costs more than $ 12 more than a barrel for the same month next year.

BP Plc, the latest Western supermajor to report quarterly earnings, said it would repurchase an additional $ 1.25 billion in shares, using the proceeds of the surge in prices. Following in the footsteps of his peers, he recorded a sharp increase in his profits.

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