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Oil Holds Rally as OPEC+ Mulls Biggest Supply Cut Since 2020

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(Bloomberg) -- Oil held gains after a two-day rally ahead of an OPEC+ meeting as the group considers the biggest supply cut since 2020 to help revive prices.

West Texas Intermediate futures traded near $86 a barrel after rising almost 9% over the previous two sessions. The cartel is set to discuss reducing output by as much as 2 million barrels a day, delegates said before the group meets in Vienna later Wednesday. That's double the volume previously flagged.

A cut of that magnitude would reflect the scale of concern from the producer group about the outlook for energy demand in the face of rapidly tightening monetary policy. Oil recently capped its first quarterly decline in two years after giving up all the gains made after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies may also discuss a slightly smaller cut of 1.5 million barrels a day, said delegates. Even a reduction of that size is likely to draw criticism from the US and other major oil-consuming nations, which have been battling energy-driven inflation.

"I think we're setting up for a buy the rumor, sell the fact situation," Carley Garner, the founder of DeCarley Trading LLC, said in a Bloomberg television interview. OPEC+ are "not meeting their quotas as it is already."

Complicating the supply outlook is a proposed price cap on Russian oil, which a US official said could be announced within weeks. While the US-led measure is designed to deprive the Kremlin of revenues for its war in Ukraine and keep crude flowing, President Vladimir Putin has threatened to withhold supply.

The American Petroleum Institute reported US crude stockpiles dropped by 1.77 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the figures. Official Energy Information Administration data is due later Wednesday.

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

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