Brent crude oil prices rose on Wednesday as an expected decrease in U.S. crude oil inventory relieves investor fears about a fall in demand.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $44.98 per barrel at 0633 GMT for a 0.8% increase after closing Tuesday at $44.62 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $42 per barrel at the same time for a 0.16% increase after it ended the previous session at $42.07 a barrel.
Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) announced its estimate of a fall of 4,4 million barrels in US crude oil inventories last week, more than expected 3.2 million-barrel draw.
Although this signalled a potential rise in U.S. oil demand, it also calmed some investor concerns given the growing surplus of oil supply on the global market.
Worldwide demand, including Asia, has also begun to recover, as some countries ease lockdowns and home-stay orders.
The prices also saw upward support after Russia declared that it had registered the first Covid-19 vaccine in the world, called Sputnik V, though scientists remain doubtful.
However, increasing uncertainty over a Washington stalemate in talks for a stimulus package to help recovery from the pandemic's impact keeps a negative pressure on prices.
The standoff on the talks continue as US President Donald Trump and Republicans have been seeking a roughly $1 trillion, but the Democrat's proposal exceeds $3 trillion.
Talks between Trump administration and Democrat-controlled House of Representatives broke down on Friday after nearly two weeks of daily talks resulted in little progress.
The U.S. crude oil production is forecast to decrease this year by 990,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.26 million bpd, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Tuesday, for a decline of 600,000 bpd, steeper than its forecast last month.
On the demand side, as COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, global economic outlook and overall oil demand continue to remain weak.
The number of COVID-19 cases worldwide is now over 20 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.
As the US leads the number of cases with more than 5 million as of Tuesday morning, Brazil has over 3 million, and India follows with more than 2.2 million cases.
For the first in the last 102 days, New Zealand also confirmed four local cases of the novel coronavirus.
By Sibel Morrow