The recent rise in oil prices and friction between key members Saudi Arabia and Iran mean that hopes for a coordinated effort to intervene in the market are slim.
U.S. government data showed on Wednesday that crude stocks fell by 4.2 million barrels in the week ended May 20, much steeper than the 2.5 million barrels forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll and the biggest drop in seven weeks.
Investors took this as a strong buying signal, pushing global benchmark Brent to a near seven-month high of $50.26 a barrel.
The contract traded at $50.01 a barrel, up 27 cents on Wednesday’s close.
U.S. crude futures were up 19 cents at $49.75 a barrel, after coming within touching distance of $50 at $49.97, also a seven-month high.
Unplanned outages in Nigeria, Libya and Canada have also been adding to the picture of easing oversupply.
A source at oil producer Chevron said on Thursday its activities in Nigeria had been “grounded” by a militant attack, worsening a situation that had already restricted the supply of hundreds of thousands of barrels. Certainly ($50) is a psychological barrier.
Chief market analyst at Sydney’s CMC Markets said, there is a momentum, people will try and push it up over that.