U.S. oil prices settled lower on Wednesday after Saudi Arabia's oil minister said he expects OPEC members to reach a unified decision later this week, but he would not disclose details on the decision, according to Dow Jones reported.
A Gulf OPEC delegate told Reuters the GCC had reached a consensus not to cut oil output. Three OPEC delegates separately told Reuters they believed OPEC was unlikely to cut output when the 12-member organisation meets on Thursday.
WTI crude ended the session 40 cents lower at $73.69 a barrel, not far from its session low $73.30.
Benchmark Brent futures were last down by about 50 cents at $78 a barrel, having hit a low of $77.30 in the session.
U.S. inventory data did little to change the market mood, coming in close to forecasts in a Reuters poll.
U.S. crude stocks rose slightly more than expected last week, while gasoline stocks increased and distillate inventories fell, data from the Energy Information Administration showed.
Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zangeneh said the group should "monitor the market carefully" following a meeting with his Saudi Arabian counterpart. Traders noted the lack of any call to cut back output in his comments.