Oil prices increased slightly on Thursday from a dip in previous gains over rising inflation in the US driven by energy price spikes and an increase in crude stocks.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $82.94 per barrel at 0529 GMT for a 0.36% increase after closing the previous session at $82.64 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $81.64 per barrel at the same time for a 0.36% raise after the previous session closed at $81.34 a barrel.
On Wednesday, Brent crude has reached as high as $85.50 per barrel while WTI hit $84.97. However, both benchmarks dropped by more than 3% after reports that US inflation hit the highest level in 31 years.
The US consumer price index (CPI) rose 6.2% in October -- the highest 12-month increase since November 1990. Core CPI jumped 4.6% year on year, its highest 12-month increase since August 1991.
The dollar also gained over possible future action by the White House and US Federal Reserve, which could curb rising prices. The increasing dollar index also exerted price pressure, discouraging investors from purchasing dollar-indexed crude oil.
US President Joe Biden said Wednesday that reversing high inflation is a top priority for his administration after consumer prices hit their highest level in 30 years, the largest share of which came from rising energy costs.
- Potential SPR release
Efforts to curb rising energy price spikes involve releasing more crude supplies from the US strategic petroleum reserves (SPR), but experts argue this action will have a limited market impact.
The US has the world's largest SPR of more than 600 million barrels stored in huge underground salt caverns at four sites located on the Gulf of Mexico coast.
Exerting further price pressure, US' inventories of gasoline and distillates continued its decrease. However, US commercial crude oil inventories increased 0.2% during the week ending Nov. 5, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories rose by 1 million barrels to 435.1 million barrels, less than the market expectation of a 1.9 million-barrel rise.
However, strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks declined by 3.1 million barrels to 609.4 million barrels last week. Gasoline inventories also decreased by 1.6 million barrels to 212.7 million barrels over that period.
By Ebru Sengul Cevrioglu