Investing.com – Oil prices traded lower in midmorning trade on Thursday, though the barrel of West Texas was hovering near the unchanged mark, as Iran backed down from complete opposition to an increase in output, paving the way to a possible agreement between the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).
New York-traded slipped 4 cents, or about 0.1%, to $65.71 a barrel by 10:44AM ET (14:44GMT).
Meanwhile, , the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., traded down $1.18, or 1.6%, to $73.56.
OPEC is planning a review their current production agreement with non-OPEC producers led by Russia that has held back 1.8 million bpd from the market for the past 18 months.
Saudi Arabia and Russia, both of which have the ability to increase production, had been pushing for increases in output to cover shortfalls seen by Iran and Venezuela. However, OPEC members including Iraq, Iran and Venezuela had shown their prefererence to keep the supply limits in place.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said that he was feeling “very good” about OPEC’s production levels and indicated Iran could accept a modest supply hike, suggesting that members may be moving closer to an agreement ahead of their 174th official meeting on Friday in Vienna.
The will kick off Friday at 3:30AM ET (7:30GMT) and a press conference is tentatively scheduled for 7:00AM ET (11:00GMT).
That meeting will be followed by a gathering of OPEC officials with their non-member allies on Saturday.
In other energy trading, lost 0.1% $2.0160 a gallon by 10:45AM ET (14:45GMT), while slid 1.1% to $2.0831 a gallon.
Lastly, traded up 0.7% to $2.985 per million British thermal units, having trimmed gains after weekly data showed that .
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