Oil prices rose Tuesday due to renewed demand following a US decision to replenish its emergency stockpiles, as well as supply fears as raging wildfires in Canada’s Alberta province continue to threaten oil production in the area.
International benchmark Brent crude traded at $75.27 per barrel at 09.52 a.m. local time (0652 GMT), a 0.05% increase from the closing price of $75.23 a barrel in the previous trading session.
The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) registered at the same time at $71.15 per barrel, down 0.05% from the previous session's close of $71.11 per barrel.
Prices rallied on a revival in demand after the US Energy Department announced a plan to purchase up to 3 million barrels of oil for its Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
The US had sold oil from its emergency stockpiles several times to address the significant global supply disruption caused by the Russia-Ukraine war and to provide a wartime bridge by increasing domestic production.
The US Energy Department pointed to an analysis by the Department of the Treasury and said the move to sell SPR oil to stem rising energy prices managed to reduce gasoline prices by up to roughly $0.40 per gallon.
The government said the offers for August delivery of 'sour crude oil' will be submitted by May 31.
Prices also drew support from the threat of disruptions in Canada, with a rise in the number of wildfires in its main producing region.
'As of yesterday, there were 87 active fires in Alberta, with 24 out of control. It’s estimated that around 300,000 barrels per day are currently disrupted, with the risk of more coming under threat,' according to Daniel Hynes, a commodity strategist at Australia and New Zealand Banking Group.
By Sibel Morrow