Oil prices rose on Tuesday after a severe cold sweeping across Texas forced a shutdown of the wells and refineries in the biggest crude-producing state of the US.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $63.59 per barrel at 0650 GMT with a 0.45% increase after closing Monday at $63.30 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) increased by 1.27% to $60.23 per barrel at the same time relative to end-of-day trading at $59.47 a barrel during the previous session.
Oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Total, Valero and Shell, temporarily shut down operations citing "unprecedented freezing temperatures."
The unusual cold front in Texas cut power supplies to millions of people and disrupted production at the facilities, exerting upward pressure on oil prices.
Investors are also pinning hopes on an oil demand recovery as the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday listed a COVID-19 vaccine jointly developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University for emergency use.
Cheaper and easier to distribute than some of its rivals, including Pfizer/BioNTech’s, AstraZeneca’s vaccine is raising hopes of greater vaccination coverage in developing countries.
The rising tensions in the Middle East after Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launched drone attacks on two airports in Saudi Arabia raised supply fears and bolstered prices.
By Sibel Morrow