A rising price in the third week of January suggested that OPEC output cuts were beginning to arrest the slide. But a build-up of US crude and gasoline stocks has since forced a decline. The US Energy Information Administration said on 6 February that crude stocks had climbed by 2.4 million barrels over the previous week to reach 319.3 million barrels.

Analysts say OPEC producers have made significant cuts over the past four weeks, but aggregate production is still some 1 million barrels a day (b/d) above the target of 21.7 million b/d.