Oil prices rise as U.S. fuel demand jumps

A TORC Oil & Gas pump jack is seen near Granum, Alberta, Canada May 6, 2020. (Reuters photo)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices rose on Thursday as U.S. implied consumer petroleum demand surged to a record high in the world’s top oil consumer.

Brent crude futures rose by 58 cents to $74.56 a barrel at 0551 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures increased by 78 cents to $71.65 per barrel.

“Despite the current virus surge, the weekly EIA oil inventory report showed demand for petroleum products hit a record high, crude exports bounced back and national crude stocks posted a larger-than-expected draw,” Reuters quoted Edward Moya, senior analyst at OANDA, as saying.

“This current Omicron wave may lead to limited restrictive measures across the U.S., but lockdowns that happened during the peak of the pandemic will not be revisited,” Moya added.

U.S. crude inventories sank by 4.6 million barrels in the week to December 10, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed, according to Reuters.

Product supplied by refineries, a proxy for demand, surged in the most recent week to 23.2 million barrels per day (bpd), due to gains in gasoline, diesel and other refined products.

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