Oil prices were largely flat on Thursday after steep losses the previous session, with rising U.S. production weighing against comments from leading Gulf oil producers that an extension to OPEC-led supply cuts was likely.
Brent futures were at $52.93 barrel at 1345 GMT, unchanged from their last close. U.S. crude futures were down 9 cents at $50.50 a barrel.
Both benchmarks had traded more than 50 cents higher earlier in the day, but gains eased at the start of U.S. trading hours.
“The U.S. market perhaps doesn’t believe in the oil market balance that OPEC would have us believe,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist with ABN AMRO.
OPEC members Saudi Arabia and Kuwait signaled that an effort by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other producers, including Russia, to cut oil output was likely to be extended beyond June.
But bloated inventories weighed. Despite a drop in U.S. crude stocks last week, an unexpected 1.5-million-barrel build in gasoline stocks drove prices more than 3.5 percent lower on Wednesday.