Oil prices were up on Thursday as a decline in US crude oil inventories signaled that crude demand is on the rise in the world's largest oil-consuming country.
International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $42.23 per barrel at 0627 GMT for a 0.47% increase after closing Wednesday at $42.03 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $40.01 a barrel at the same time for a 0.48% gain after ending the previous session at $39.82 per barrel.
Commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell significantly, by 7.2 million barrels, for the week ending June 26, the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Wednesday.
The EIA data reflects that demand for crude is on the rise in the US -- the world's largest oil-consuming nation.
With the arrival of the summer season, car transport in major economies in North America, Europe and Asia is expected to increase, providing a positive outlook for global oil consumption through September.
However, risks amid a second wave of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are set to curtail and weaken global oil consumption for the third quarter of 2020, compared to the same period last year.
On the demand side, Libya's preparations to restart oil exports are seen as increasing the risk of adding to the supply glut on the global oil market, thus keeping downward pressure on prices.
By Ovunc Kutlu