Oil marginally up as market awaits further clarity on supply outlook

SINGAPORE, Jan 26 (Reuters) – Oil prices edged higher on Thursday after a weaker-than-expected build in US inventories. Meanwhile, investors are looking for clarity on drivers for the offer, including an OPEC+ meeting and an EU embargo on Russian oil products.

Futures for Brent crude were up 0.15% at $86.25 a barrel by 09:55 Moscow time, WTI up 0.39% at $80.46 a barrel.

“The market awaits more clarity on the upcoming EU sanctions on Russian oil products and the redistribution of trade flows as OPEC+ delegates arrive,” Citi said in a research note on Thursday.

“The upcoming EU embargo on Russian oil products remains a major source of market concern, with wide-ranging expectations expected,” Citi analysts said.

US crude stockpiles rose by 533,000 barrels to 448.55 million barrels in the week ended Jan. 20, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.

The EIA said this is well below its forecast of a 1 million barrel increase, although oil inventories are at their highest level since June 2021.

Rising inventories limited gains in prices as it signaled weak fuel demand on top of widespread fears of a slowdown in the global economy.

The OPEC+ ministerial oversight committee is likely to endorse the group’s current oil production policy at its February 1 meeting, five sources in the coalition of oil producers said on Tuesday.

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