Crude oil futures settled higher on Thursday amid prospects for a surge in energy demand, and tighter supplies amid the slow recovery in restoration of output in the Gulf of Mexico following the disruptions caused by recent hurricanes.
Recent data showing a drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week ended September 17 continued to support oil prices.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for November ended up by $1.07 or about 1.5% at $73.30 a barrel, the lowest settlement in about two months. Oil prices had dropped to $71.61 a barrel earlier in the session.
Brent crude futures were up $0.97 or 1.27% at $77.16 a barrel a little while ago.
Data from Energy Information Administration (EIA) showed crude stockpiles dropped by 3.481 million barrels to 414 million barrels last week, the lowest level since October 2018.
Gasoline stockpiles rose by 3.47 million barrels, more than 2.5 times the expected increase, while distillate stockpiles dropped by 2.55 million barrels, more than twice the expected drop.
The EIA also said that oil facilities in the Gulf of Mexico continue to return to production, and weekly output rose by 500,000 barrels per day in the most recent week.
The OPEC and allies, collectively known as OPEC+ will meet on October 4. Iraq’s oil minister said on Wednesday that the group was working to keep crude prices close to $70 per barrel amid a recovery in global economy.