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After declining overnight, oil prices surged higher in European trade on Thursday as Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries members gathered in Vienna for a key meeting later in the day at 08:00 GMT. Market players are looking forward for the outcome of the summit.

Brent oil reached an eight-month high of $50.96 the previous week as unexpected supply interruptions in Nigeria eased worries over a global surplus.  Brent futures prices rose by roughly 85% since shortly declining below $30 a barrel in mid-February.

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Meanwhile, on the ICE Futures Exchange in London, Brent oil for August delivery climbed to an intraday peak of $50.30 a barrel. After falling 17 cents or 0.34% on Wednesday, it last settled at $50.02 by 07:51 GMT.

July delivery of crude oil on the NYMEX perched on 21 cents or 0.43%, trading at $49.22 per barrel. New York-traded oil prices eased down 9 cents or 0.18% on Wednesday.

Elsewhere, gasoline stockpiles are predicted to sink by 0.2 million barrels while stocks of distillates, including heating oil and diesel, are also anticipated to drop by 0.9 million barrels, analysts cited.

Following Wednesday’s close, the American Petroleum Institute stated that U.S. oil supplies gained 2.35 million barrels in the week ended May 27, compared to prospects for a decline of 3.1 million barrels.

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According to the API, crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for WTI plummeted by 1.03 million barrels, while gasoline inventories dropped by 1.48 million barrels and distillate inventories sank by 1.15 million barrels.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its weekly oil supplies report at 15:00GMT, amid prospects for a decline of 2.5 million barrels.

OPEC Meeting in Vienna

The OPEC will release the much-awaited statement after the conclusion of the meeting at 14:00 GMT. No dramatic announcement on output cut is anticipated, however.

On Wednesday, the media cited four OPEC sources saying that the oil cartel would deliberate on a new production ceiling at the summit, a proposal that is speculated to have conditional support of Saudi Arabia. However, later on, Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh countered the report as he stated that an output ceiling has no benefit to them; this rejection of the idea will possibly derail the plan.

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The oil group’s most recent meeting in Qatar previously in April concluded without any agreement to halt production at current levels due to Saudi Arabias assertion that Iran be part of the agreement.

Discussions about a ceiling signify a return to OPEC’s traditional way of doing business. A ceiling would place a cap on the whole group’s production. Until December, OPEC had a mere output ceiling of 30 million barrels a day.

Markets see that ceiling as a guarantee. Oil prices fell to 13-year lows within weeks after OPEC tussled its output ceiling in December. Many analysts stated the summit will mostly be a formality with the union sticking to the no-cut tactic as players are driven by market shares rivalry.

BMI research said, “We see no reason as to why OPEC members...would now choose to reverse policy.”