Investing.com - Crude prices fell in Asia on Wednesday as U.S. industry data pointed to a second straight massive build in stockpiles.
The American Petroleum Institute's weekly crude inventory report showed a build of 7.1 million barrels last week for crude, though data on refined products was not immediately available.
Separately, a government report on Wednesday could show that U.S. stockpiles rose by 3.7 million barrels for the week ending on Oct. 16.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, WTI crude for December delivery fell 0.82% to $45.91 a barrel.
Also ahead, OPEC, the world's largest oil cartel, will convene a special meeting on Wednesday in Vienna to discuss the current state of the global energy markets. Eight non-OPEC members, including Russia, Mexico and Brazil have been invited to participate in the meeting, Reuters reported. In August, crude futures soared more than 25% in the span of three days, after reports surfaced that Venezuela had worked in conjunction with Russia to schedule an emergency OPEC meeting.
Venezuela, which sits on the world's largest oil reserve, has seen its economy tank over as oil prices have crashed by more than 40% over the last year, amid a glut of oversupply. Crude proceeds from Venezuela's state-run oil companies account for 50% of its government revenue, 95% of its exports and 25% of its GDP, according to the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations. Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro is hoping to use the meeting to devise a strategy to stabilize the current supply-demand imbalance in oil markets worldwide, the nation's state-run oil company said on Tuesday.
Reaction among energy traders, however, has been muted given Venezuela's low standing on the OPEC totem poll. For the most part, energy analysts do not expect the meeting to help ease the pressure on oil prices unless Saudi Arabia becomes willing to slash production considerably. Although OPEC output fell slightly to 31.2 million barrels per day last month, according to a Platts survey, it still remains near record-highs. At the same time, monthly output from Saudi Arabia also fell mildly by 14,000 bpd to 10.26 million.
Overnight, crude futures closed slightly higher on a volatile, see-saw day of trading, ahead of a special OPEC meeting with a host of non-OPEC members including Russia on Wednesday.
On the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Brent crude for December wavered between a low of $48.25 and $49.17 a barrel, before settling at $48.70, up 0.09 or 0.19% on the day. Meanwhile, the spread between the international and U.S. domestic benchmarks of crude stood at $2.41, above Monday's level of $2.36 at the close.
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