Oil prices were higher in European trading on Thursday, bouncing back from its worst day in six weeks amid optimism that OPEC would extend its current deal with non-OPEC producers to cut output beyond June in an effort to rebalance the market.
Kuwait oil minister Essam al-Marzouq said on Thursday he expected a global pact to cut oil supplies to be extended beyond June, supported by higher compliance from non-OPEC producers.
In November last year, OPEC and other producers, including Russia, agreed to cut output by about 1.8 million barrels per day between January and June.
A joint committee of ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers will meet in late April to present its recommendation on the fate of the pact. A final decision on whether or not to extend the deal beyond June will be taken by the oil cartel on May 25.
Brent oil for June delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 38 cents, or around 0.7%, to $53.31 a barrel by 3:20AM ET (07:20GMT), after falling $1.96 in the prior session.
Elsewhere, the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude June contract rose 34 cents to $51.18 a barrel.
The U.S. benchmark lost $2.00 on Wednesday after hitting its lowest since March 31 at $50.51, after weekly supply data showed U.S. gasoline supplies increased for the first time since February, while crude output keeps rising.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories fell by 1.0 million barrels in the week ended April 14, a smaller draw than expected.
The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 1.5 million barrels, disappointing expectations for a drop of 1.9 million barrels, despite heavier refining activity.
Oil has been stuck in a familiar trading range since the start of the year amid concern that an ongoing rebound in U.S. shale production and swelling stockpiles in the U.S. could derail efforts by other major producers to rebalance global oil supply and demand.
Elsewhere on NYMEX, gasoline futures for May inched up 0.7 cents, or about 0.5%, to $1.669 a gallon, while May heating oil added 0.8 cents to $1.589 a gallon.
Natural gas futures for May delivery tacked on 0.6 cents to $3.191 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later in the global day.