LONDON Oil prices steadied on Tuesday, hanging on to gains from the previous session thanks to high compliance with production cuts from members of the OPEC+ producer group.
Brent crude was virtually flat at $45.39 a barrel at 0905 GMT, having gained 1.3% on Monday. U.S. crude edged down by 5 cents, or 0.1%, at $42.84 after a rise of 2.1% in the previous session.
A technical panel found that compliance with OPEC+ oil output cuts in July was between 95% and 97%, according to a draft report seen by Reuters.
The panel considered a scenario of substantial downside risk to oil demand if the coronavirus pandemic conditions worsen, the report said, calling for “vigilance and close monitoring of the implementation of the compensation for overproduction".
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, eased their cuts in August to 7.7 million barrels per day (bpd) from 9.7 million bpd previously.
The market has priced in news that the alliance’s member compliance has been quite high in July, said Bjornar Tonhaugen, Rystad Energy’s head of oil markets.
OPEC+ will hold a ministerial panel meeting on Wednesday.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak will join the video meeting despite testing positive for COVID-19, the country’s energy ministry said on Tuesday.
Oil prices have started to pick up in recent months, prompting Australian miner and oil producer BHP to strike an upbeat note in its earnings on Tuesday.
“We believe that the most significant risks to the physical (oil) market have now passed," the company said, ading that the pace of gains could be modest given potential headwinds from supply returning.
(Additional reporting by Aaron Sheldrick and Sonali Paul; Editing by David Goodman)
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