Brent crude futures were down 27 cents to $44.07 a barrel by 0911 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude slipped 43 cents to $41.39 a barrel. A rising dollar made oil more expensive for holders of other currencies.
But Brent’s six-month contango, a market structure implying current oversupply, was at its shallowest in over four months on Thursday, suggesting concerns over a glut are easing somewhat.
U.S. crude inventories rose 768,000 barrels last week, less than the 1.7 million barrels analysts expected in a Reuters poll, government data showed. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 5.2 million barrels, far exceeding expectations.
“Investors are also booking profits from the recent rally before the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday later this month,” said Kazuhiko Saito, chief analyst at Fujitomi Co.
Raising the spectre of further oversupply, Libya’s National Oil Corporation (NOC) and France’s Total discussed NOC’s efforts to raise capacity and increase production.
OPEC+, comprising the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and other producers, is due to discuss policy at a full ministerial meeting on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
Members of OPEC+ are leaning towards delaying their current plan to boost output in January by 2 million barrels per day (bpd), sources have said.
(Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi in Tokyo; editing by Jason Neely)
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