Oil was lower in Asian trade today on the eve of an OPEC ministerial meeting in Vienna to discuss production quotas, analysts said.
Oil markets were also under pressure from growing worries over the economic crisis in Europe despite a bailout package of €100 billion ($25 billion) to rescue Spain’s ailing banking sector, they said.
New York’s main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, sank 68 cents to $82.64 a barrel and Brent North Sea crude for July delivery fell 28 cents to $96.86 a barrel.
“Pessimism in Europe continues to grow... with fears that a worsening in conditions will further reduce the already weak European oil demand,” said Mr Sanjeev Gupta, Ernst and Young’s regional head of oil and gas practice.
The OPEC ministerial meeting tomorrow will be widely watched as kingpin Saudi Arabia’s call for existing output levels to be raised appeared to be facing opposition from other members including Venezuela.
The 12-member cartel, which pumps about one third of the world’s crude supplies, left its 2012 world oil demand outlook almost unchanged on Tuesday, citing price volatility and pressure on the global economy.
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