2019.12.0409:49:00UTC+00Oil Prices Rally Before OPEC+ Meet

Oil prices rose sharply on Wednesday amid expectations that OPEC and its partners, including Russia, will extend their current production agreement by three months when they meet later this week. Bullish inventory data also helped to lift prices.

Benchmark Brent crude climbed nearly 2 percent to $62.01 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1.7 percent at $57.05.

The OPEC countries and its allies are preparing to approve deeper crude output cuts this week, when they meet in Vienna, according to Iraq, the group's second-biggest producer.

Iraq oil minister Thamer Ghadhban told reporters on Tuesday that a deeper cut is being preferred by a number of key members when they meet on Thursday and then on Friday.

Meanwhile, according to the industry group American Petroleum Institute (API), crude oil inventories in the U.S. fell by more than expected last week.

Stockpiles of crude oil fell by 3.7 million barrels, more than double expectations of a decline of 1.7 million barrels.

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