Oil futures hit a top six in the week since oil platforms in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated before a storm, while an incident with a British tanker in the Middle East underlined ongoing tensions in the region.
Brent’s raw earnings transformed early losses and increased 36 cents, or 0.5%, to $ 67.37 per barrel up to 0643 GMT. Earlier in the session, they hit the highest since May 30 at $ 67.39 after it ended 4.4% on Wednesday.
U.S. Unprocessed Income West Texas Intermediate rose 32 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $ 60.75 per barrel, first touching the highest rates since May 23 at $ 60.83. They won 4.5% in the previous session.
Five ships believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards were approached on Thursday by a British tanker and asked him to stop near Iranian waters but withdrew after a British warship warned them over the radio, a defense official said US on Thursday.
Tensions have been high in the Middle East after the tanker attacks and the collapse of an American road from Iran last month, following President Donald Trump‘s unilateral withdrawal from a multi-party deal with Tehran to end its nuclear program.
Fifteen production platforms and four platforms were evacuated to the Central Gulf of Mexico in the north, according to a US regulator, after oil companies sent workers in security ahead of a storm expected to become a hurricane by Friday.
Oil prices were also backed by a drop in US inventories. US raw stocks shrank 9.5million barrels a week by July 5th, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, more than three times the analysts outgrowing 3.1m barrels expected as refineries boosted production.
Stephen Innes, managing partner, Vanguard Markets in Bangkok, said, “There is nothing like the early start of the storm season to support oil prices, but looking under the EIA data cape, it presents a better picture for oil markets in the US “.
He said “Imports below, potential exports and refinery utilization at annual levels”.
Stocks have now fallen for four consecutive weeks, according to EIA.
However, US output is rising again after a short decline from record levels, according to EIA. Production last week rose to 12.3 million barrels a day.
Benjamin Lu, an analyst at Phillip Futures, Singapore, said, “The growth in US manufacturing levels, the downturn in the global economy and the existing trade uncertainties will pick up bullish gains for the future of crude oil.”/Investing.com