Oil Wobbles Near $66 as OPEC's Mixed Views Deepen Supply Dilemma

Oil traded below $66 a barrel as conflicting signals from OPEC members about whether their output curbs will be relaxed spurred speculation that an agreement will prove elusive at an upcoming group meeting.

Futures were little changed in New York, after they flipped between gains and losses over the past four sessions. While Saudi Arabia and Russia have signaled they’re ready to boost output, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabbar al-Luaibi told Reuters that an increase won’t be on the table at the June 22 meeting in Vienna. The U.S. is said to have asked the group to raise supplies by about 1 million barrels a day, further raising the prospect of a contentious gathering.

The meeting may end in failure due to misaligned positions of member countries and the need of unanimity for any decision, according to Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. Crude has rallied to the the highest level since November 2014 in late May but since then, it has receded about 8 percent on speculation that OPEC and its allies would ease output curbs at a time when U.S. drillers continue pumping at a record pace.

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