Oil prices edged lower today after another week of expectation-busting rises in US crude stockpiles.
Global benchmark Brent crude shed 1.2 per cent, or 56 cents, to trade at $46.39 a barrel this afternoon, while US sweet crude lost 1.4 per cent, or 65 cents, at $45.16 a barrel.
Weekly US crude oil inventories surged by 3.6m barrels last week, the American Petroleum Institute said, more than double an expected 1.5m barrel rise.
Later on, the US Energy Information Administration will also release its official figures on crude inventories.
Both prices gained almost six per cent yesterday, on news that Opec officials were stepping up diplomatic efforts ahead of a meeting at the end of the month where they are due to hash out a production cut agreement.
Reported builds in US supply have slashed the oil price in recent weeks, with prices falling by a sharp $2 a barrel after stockpiles grew by their largest ever amount – 14.4m barrels – a fortnight ago.
Ministers of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) will meet in Doha, Qatar, tomorrow, for another round of talks ahead of the 30 November meeting in Vienna, at which the consortium is aiming to firm up an output cut that will cap production at 32.5m to 33m barrels per day.