Oil prices increased on Thursday over demand euphoria after US fuel inventories recorded massive decreases amid continued supply disruptions after Hurricane Ida hit the US Gulf of Mexico.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $75.48 per barrel at 0605 GMT for a 0.02% increase after closing Wednesday at $75.46 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $72.67 per barrel at the same time for a 0.08% rise after it ended the previous session at $72.61 a barrel.
The more-than-expected drop in US stockpiles pushed prices higher.
According to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late Wednesday, US commercial crude oil inventories dropped by 6.4 million barrels, or 1.5%, to 417.4 million barrels during the week ending Sept. 10, compared to the market expectation of a 3.9 million-barrel draw
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, also decreased to 620.8 million barrels last week, while gasoline inventories fell by 1.9 million barrels to 218.1 million barrels over that period.
A significant drop in inventories indicates an increase in crude demand in the US, the world’s largest oil consumer, assuaging market concerns over dwindling demand.
Meanwhile, supply disruptions from Hurricane Ida continue in the Gulf of Mexico. While 30% of current production in the Gulf remains shut in after the hurricane, tropical storm Nicholas has had minor effects on the country's pipeline and electricity infrastructure.
As US supply declines continue, analysts expect that markets will soon balance as OPEC+ producers are set to continue their incremental monthly output increase of up to 400,000 barrels per day in October.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu