Crude oil prices rose slightly Thursday, supported by supply risks brought about by last weekend’s drone attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure and a cut in U.S. interest rates, Kallanish Energy reports.
Brent crude futures gained 72 cents, to $64.33 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude settled up 2 cents, at $58.13/Bbl.
The attacks knocked down more than half of Saudi Arabia’s crude production and severely limited the country’s spare capacity.
Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia set out a timeline for a resumption of full operations, saying it had restored supplies to customers at levels prior to the attacks by drawing from its oil inventories.
But it said it would restore its lost production by the end of September, and bring its output capacity back to 12 million barrels per day (Mmbpd) by the end of November.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s leading oil exporter, has said the crippling attack on its oil sites was “unquestionably sponsored” by regional rival Iran.
U.S. President Trump said there were many options short of war with Iran and added he had ordered the U.S. Treasury to “substantially increase sanctions” on Tehran. Iran has denied involvement in the strikes.
Fatih Birol, head of the International Energy Agency, said Wednesday it saw no need to release emergency oil stocks as markets were well supplied.
The U.S. Federal Reserve cut interest rates again on Wednesday to help sustain a record-long economic expansion.
Stockpiles of crude in the U.S., the world’s largest oil producer, rose by 1.1 million barrels (Mmbbl) last week against analysts’ expectations for a drop of 2.5 Mmbbl.
However, stocks in Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for benchmark futures, fell to their lowest since October 2018.
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