OIL PRICE: ABOVE $63
Benchmark Brent crude oil LCOc1 was unchanged at $63.49 a barrel by 0840 GMT. On Tuesday, Brent reached an intra-day high of $64.65, its highest since June 2015.
U.S. light crude CLc1 was steady at $56.81, not too far off this week's more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel.
Traders said a rally that has pushed up Brent by more than 40 percent since July may have run its course due to increases in U.S. supplies and some indicators of a demand slowdown.
"Prices may have reached a short-term peak," said Fawad Razaqzada, analyst at futures brokerage Forex.com.
Prices are still supported by efforts led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia to withhold supplies in order to tighten the market and prop up prices.
OPEC will discuss output during a meeting on Nov. 30, and is expected to extend the limits beyond their expiry in March 2018.
"With the OPEC/non-OPEC deal extension beyond March 2018 a certainty, prices may become stronger and temporarily reach the $65-$70 per barrel range in 2018," said energy consultancy FGE.
Despite this, many analysts say the price rally of the past months may have run its course, at least for now.
U.S. crude stockpiles rose 2.2 million barrels in the week to Nov. 3, to 457.14 million barrels, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, contrary to analysts' expectations for a decrease of 2.9 million barrels.
U.S. crude production inched up 67,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 9.62 million bpd, the highest on record.
Output looks set to rise further. Texas issued 997 oil and gas drilling permits last month, up nearly 17 percent versus the same month a year ago, the state's energy regulator said on Wednesday.
Global fuel consumption remains strong, although the latest figures from top importer China were below expectations.
Key for the last weeks of 2017 is whether traders remain confident about their huge bets on further price rises, or if they sell out, satisfied with recent strong gains.
"It doesn't matter how bullish the fundamentals are ... when an asset goes vertical there is always room for a pullback and consolidation of recent price moves," said Greg McKenna, chief market strategist at brokerage AxiTrader.
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REUTERS - Brent crude futures LCOc1 were down 72 cents at $61.49 per barrel at 1020 GMT, having fallen by 1.5 percent on Tuesday, its largest one-day drop in a month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was at $55.12 per barrel, down 58 cents.
BLOOMBERG - Prices dropped during the session as the International Energy Agency said the recent recovery in oil prices, coupled with milder-than-normal winter weather, is slowing demand growth. The worsening outlook for consumption dampened some of the enthusiasm that OPEC and its allies will extend supply curbs.
Global energy needs rise more slowly than in the past but still expand by 30% between today and 2040. This is the equivalent of adding another China and India to today’s global demand.
Product exports have grown significantly over the past several years and are expected to continue to grow as Russian refineries add capacity to produce more high-quality products.