US crude oil storage tank

Oil hits 8-week highs as falling U.S. crude stockpiles add to optimism

LONDON, July 27, 2017 – Oil prices rose to a fresh eight-week high in European trade on Thursday, as data showing a fourth consecutive week of declines in U.S. crude inventories added to optimism that the market was rebalancing.

The U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude September contract was at $48.89 a barrel by 3:20AM ET (0720GMT), up 13 cents, or around 0.3%. It touched its highest since June 1 at $48.91 earlier in the session.

Elsewhere, Brent oil for September delivery on the ICE Futures Exchange in London tacked on 13 cents to $51.10 a barrel, after touching an eight-week peak of $51.16.

Oil prices finished higher for the third-session in a row on Wednesday, after data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showed a large drop in domestic crude and gasoline supplies.


U.S. oil inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels at the end of last week to 483.4 million barrels, much more than the expected drop of around 2.6 million barrels.

The report also showed that gasoline inventories decreased by 1.0 million barrels, compared to expectations for a much more modest decline of 0.6 million barrels.

Oil is on track to score a weekly gain of more than 6% as fresh pledges from Saudi Arabia and Nigeria to respectively pull back on exports and output boosted sentiment.

Signs of a possible slowdown in U.S. shale production in the wake of reduced spending plans for some oilfield services companies further added to the bullish momentum.

Elsewhere on Nymex, gasoline futures for August was up less than half a cent to $1.619 a gallon, while August heating oil added 0.3 cents to $1.599 a gallon.

Natural gas futures for September delivery was little changed at $2.913 per million British thermal units, as traders looked ahead to weekly storage data due later in the global day.

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