Oil prices fell on Thursday on concerns of lower fuel demand as talks this week between the United States and China, the world's two largest oil users, are not expected to help end the trade war between them, adding to anxieties about the global economy.
Mohammad Barkindo, leader of the exporter group, did not specify if the move would mean extending a pact to rein in production to stabilize prices, but the comments appeared to nudge the market out of pessimism over U.S.
Oil futures were mixed on Wednesday as a Turkey-launched offensive in Syria and hopes of progress in ending the U.S.
The trade dispute between the world's two largest economies has disrupted global supply chains and slowed the growth of both countries, limiting the growth of their fuel consumption.
China is still open to agreeing a partial trade deal, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday, citing an official with direct knowledge of the talks.
"This jitteriness just goes to show how much emphasis the market places on the outcome of these talks in terms of the global economic outlook".
The front-month spread between November and December U.S. crude futures CLc1-CLc2 traded at a discount of 2 cents a barrel on Thursday.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Tuesday forecast that Brent spot prices will average 59 U.S. dollars per barrel in the fourth quarter of 2019 and then fall to 57 dollars per barrel by the second quarter of 2020, which is five dollars per barrel lower than its previous forecast in September.
While the last meetings of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies in July decided on supply for the next nine months, the next meeting in Vienna will likely take a longer view.
The Financial Times also reported that China was offering to increase annual purchases of USA agricultural products as part of efforts to secure an interim trade agreement with Washington. "It has no reason or excuse to trend", said Tamas Varga of oil brokerage PVM. "No one is willing to commit to either direction".