Oil prices up with US demand rise, supply risks from geopolitical tension

ANKARA, March 14: Oil prices increased on Thursday following data indicating increased demand in the US, the world’s biggest oil consumer, and supply concerns stemming from the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

International benchmark Brent crude traded at $84.31 per barrel at 10.57 am local time (0757 GMT) for a 0.33 per cent increase from the closing price of US$84.03 a barrel in the previous trading session.

The American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) traded at US$80.01 per barrel at the same time, a 0.36 per cent rise from the previous session that closed at US$79.72 per barrel.

US commercial crude oil inventories declined by 1.5 million barrels during the week ending March 8 against the market expectation of an increase of around 400,000 barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

Gasoline inventories also decreased by around 5.7 million barrels over the same period.

A drop in both crude and gasoline stocks signals a rise in demand in the US in support of higher prices.

In addition, the EIA revised up the price of Brent crude for 2024 and 2025, citing a decrease in global oil inventory in the near term.

The EIA expects tightening supplies to contribute to significant global oil inventory declines of around 900,000 barrels per day during the second quarter of the year.

Meanwhile, tension between Israel and Palestine and the Russia-Ukraine war are underpinning price upticks.

Meanwhile, in Russia, Vasily Golubev, the governor of the Rostov region, stated on Telegram on Wednesday that an attack by a Ukrainian drone has shut down the largest oil refinery in the southern part of the country.