Oil Prices gained for a second day on Thursday after a bigger-than-expected drawdown in U.S. crude and gasoline stocks confirmed the outlook for robust fuel demand and on doubts about the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that could end U.S. sanctions on Iranian crude exports. Brent crude futures rose 8 cents, or 0.1%, to $75.27 a barrel by 0453 GMT, after increasing 0.5% on Wednesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures climbed 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $73.17 a barrel, after rising 0.3% on Wednesday. Both benchmarks hit their highest since October 2018 on Wednesday, but they pared gains later in the session as energy traders locked in profit after the U.S. inventory report, Edward Moya, senior market analyst at brokerage OANDA, said in a report. Prices resumed climbing in Asia trade on Thursday.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 7.6 million barrels in the week to June 18 to 459.1 million barrels, their lowest since March 2020, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said. The drawdown was nearly double analysts’ expectations in a poll for a 3.9 million-barrel drop. U.S. gasoline stocks fell by 2.9 million barrels in the week, against analysts’ expectations for an 833,000-barrel rise.
Tetsu Emori, CEO of Emori Fund Management Inc said that the data was encouraging since not only crude stocks, but also gasoline inventory dropped, suggesting healthy demand and tight supply. Unless OPEC+ decides next week to increase output more than expected for August and later, Oil Prices are expected to stay at the current high range for a while.Brent has gained more than 45% this year on the back of supply cuts led by the OPEC+ and recovering demand amid easing COVID-19 restrictions, with some industry executives talking of crude returning to $100 for the first time since 2014.