LONDON — Oil prices edged up on Tuesday as tight supply and expectations of a further draw in U.S. and global crude inventories provided support, although fears over the spreading COVID-19 variant capped gains.
Brent crude for September rose 21 cents, or 0.3%, to $75.37 a barrel by 1123 GMT, after losing 0.5% on Monday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude for August was at $74.18 a barrel, up 8 cents, or 0.1%, having fallen 0.6% the previous day.
U.S. crude inventories were expected to fall for an eighth consecutive week, while gasoline stocks also declined, a preliminary Reuters poll showed on Monday.
Crude stockpiles have declined steadily for several weeks, with U.S. inventories falling to the lowest since February 2020 in the week to July 2.
“News of yet another oil stocks draw will likely have a larger effect on the WTI benchmark, but also a residual upswing to support other benchmarks such as Brent,” Rystad Energy analyst Louise Dickson said.
The International Energy Agency said on Tuesday that the global tapping of oil in storage during the third quarter was set to be the biggest in at least a decade and that early June data from the United States, Europe and Japan showed a large stock draw.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his U.S. counterpart Joe Biden did not discuss OPEC+ or global oil prices during an hour-long phone call on Friday, the Kremlin said on Monday.
However, reports from around the world of surging infections kept some investors cautious.
The World Health Organization warned the Delta variant was becoming dominant and many countries had yet to receive enough doses of vaccine to secure their health workers.
Meanwhile, OPEC+ is yet to make progress closing divisions between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that last week prevented a deal to raise oil output, making another policy meeting this week less likely, OPEC+ sources said. (Additional reporting by Yuka Obayashi; editing by David Evans and Jason Neely)