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Crude oil prices climbed higher on Wednesday after data showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories in the week ended October 15.

Increased demand for oil due to the ongoing energy crunch in several countries including China contributed as well to the uptick in oil prices.

Plunging temperatures across parts of China stoked fears that shortages in power are likely to increase over the coming northern hemisphere winter.

Saudi Arabia’s energy minister said users switching from gas to oil could account for demand of 500,000 – 600,000 barrels per day.

West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for December ended up by $0.98 or about 1.2% at $83.42 a barrel.

WTI crude futures for November settled at $83.87 a barrel on the expiration day, gaining $0.91 or 1.1%.

Brent crude futures were up $0.61 or 0.72% at $85.69 a little while ago.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed U.S. crude stockpiles dropped by 431,000 barrels last week, against expectations for an increase.

The data said gaeoline stockpiles declined by over 5.37 million barrels in the week, while distillate stocks dropped by 3.91 million barrels.

The EIA data also said inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma delivery hub dropped to the lowest level in three years.


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