- Brent crude rose by 46 cents, or 0.9%, to $51.58 per barrel by 0734 GMT.
- While U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was up by 37 cents, or 0.8%, at $47.15 per barrel.
Oil prices were higher on Thursday, shortly after two sources told Reuters that OPEC provisionally agreed to cut production by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd).
OPEC will now look to secure backing from non-OPEC partners, most notably Russia, on Friday.
International benchmark BrentÂ crude traded at $51.52 Thursday morning, up around 0.8%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) stood at $47.10, around 0.7% higher.
“An agreement to reduce the OPEC+ group output level by at least 1 millionÂ bpd is imperative, otherwise oil prices will re-visit the recent lows andÂ possibly break below them,” said oil broker PVM’s Tamas Varga.
Robert Ryan, chief energy strategist at BCA Research also said the absenceÂ of a new output deal would depress the market.
“We would expect a sell-off in crude oil that takes Brent prices below $50Â per barrel, and WTI into the mid-$40s,” he said, referring to the impact of aÂ failure to agree new cuts.
Prices were supported earlier in the session by a lower-than-expected riseÂ in crude oil inventories in the United States, alleviating some concerns ofÂ oversupply in the world’s biggest oil consumer.
U.S. crude stocks rose modestly last week, less than analysts had expected,Â while U.S. oil exports rose to more than 4 million barrels per day (bpd) for theÂ first time since December, suggesting a rise in overseas demand.
Concerns over demand growth remained, however. The head of the InternationalÂ Monetary Fund said the global spread of the virus has crushed hopes for strongerÂ economic gains this year.
China’s top gas importer PetroChina has declared force majeureÂ on natural gas imports following the coronavirus outbreak.Â
The company issued the notice, which allows the suspension of contractualÂ obligations because of exceptional circumstances, to suppliers of piped gas andÂ also to at least one liquefied natural gas supplier, although details could not immediately be confirmed.
â CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this report.