Crude oil prices increased on Wednesday after estimates of a mammoth weekly drop in US crude inventories, while diminishing global coronavirus cases driven by expanded vaccination campaigns continue to aid an oil demand rebound.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $75.44 per barrel at 06.57 GMT for a 0.84% increase after closing Tuesday at $74.81 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at $73.34 a barrel at the same time for a 0.67% rise after ending the previous session at $72.85 per barrel.
Late Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute (API) predicted a drop in US crude oil stockpiles of 7.2 million barrels, compared to the market expectation of a fall of 3.6 million barrels.
A significant drop in inventories indicates an increase in crude demand in the US, assuaging market concerns about dwindling demand.
The accelerating pace of global vaccination rates is also helping the upward oil price movement, as 22% of the world’s population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to Our World in Data, a tracking website.
Over 2.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines have been given worldwide so far although only 0.9% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose.
Some experts, however, say a fourth wave of the virus is likely as countries ease mobility restrictions and a considerable number of people throughout the world are not fully vaccinated.
Bangladeshi authorities on Tuesday imposed a nine-day ban on public transport to and from the capital Dhaka in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Russia reported 546 deaths from the coronavirus over the past 24 hours, health authorities said Tuesday, marking the highest single-day figure since Feb. 11.
Market players are now awaiting the decisions of the meeting of the OPEC+ scheduled for July 1. The group is expected to continue to increase supply due to the recovery in oil demand and prices.
By Sibel Morrow