West Texas Intermediate oil futures climbed back above the $30-level in Europe trade on Wednesday, amid speculation weekly supply data due later in the session will show U.S. crude inventories rose at a slower pace than expected last week.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly report on oil supplies at 15:30GMT, or 10:30AM ET, amid expectations for a gain of 4.8 million barrels.
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, said that U.S. oil inventories rose by 3.9 million barrels in the week ended January 29.
Crude oil for delivery in March on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 59 cents, or 1.96%, to $30.46 a barrel by 09:10GMT, or 4:10AM ET, after falling to an intraday low of $29.40, the weakest since January 26.
On Tuesday, New York-traded oil futures sank $1.74, or 5.5%, to close below the $30-level, as investors worried that a huge oversupply in crude was coinciding with a global economic slowdown, especially in China.
Elsewhere, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for April delivery tacked on 59 cents, or 1.82%, to $33.31. A day earlier, London-traded Brent futures plunged $1.52, or 4.44%, amid doubts over the likelihood of a deal between Russia and OPEC producers to cut output happening anytime soon.
Global crude production is outpacing demand following a boom in U.S. shale oil and after a decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries last year not to cut production in order to defend market share.
Oversupply issues will be exacerbated further as Iranian exports return to the global oil market. Tehran said Tuesday that it planned to increase crude exports to 2.3 million barrels per day for its fiscal year, starting March 21.
Meanwhile, Brent’s premium to the West Texas Intermediate crude contract stood at $2.85, compared to a gap of $2.84 by close of trade on Tuesday.