The price of universal benchmark Brent crude mounted to $69 per barrel on Wednesday as data indicated that United States’ crude stockpiles declined for the first time this year, signalling the glut of crude has started to decrease.
Brent rose by 2.5% to $69.18 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, while the benchmark US oil contract was up $1.60 at $62 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, nearly five-month high.
The gains extended a rally that has pushed oil prices up more than 40% since late March, after declining virtually 60% from last June.
In data released after the market close late Tuesday, the industry trade group American Petroleum Institute said nationwide oil inventories fell by 1.5 million barrels last week, which include a fall of 300,000 barrels at the key delivery point in Cushing, Okla., according to The Wall Street Journal.
The decrease would be a keen surprise for the market; analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal projected a rise of 1.1 million barrels in the data. If the decline in stockpiles is confirmed in the official data, it would be the first time commercial crude inventories have fallen in the weekly report since December, 26.
Ever since the price rout in the oil market began last June, U.S. oil production has crested above 9 million barrels a day, and oil stockpiles have risen more than 25% to 491 million barrels.