U.S. crude on Tuesday closed at its lowest since November as the market discounted the latest talk by OPEC that it would extend output cuts beyond June.
That decline also came ahead of the release of weekly U.S. crude inventory data later Tuesday and on Wednesday that is expected to show a crude stock build of 2.6 million barrels, according to a Reuters poll.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude closed Tuesday's session down 88 cents, or 1.8 percent, at $47.34, its lowest settle since Nov. 29. The contract earlier rose to $49.48.
Brent crude, the international benchmark for oil, was down 60 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $51.02 per barrel by 2:36 p.m. ET (1836 GMT), off a session high of $52.22.
Sources within the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries have indicated that its members increasingly favor extended production cuts but want the backing of non-OPEC oil producers, such as Russia, which have yet to deliver fully on existing reductions.