Oil prices rose more than a dollar to 2015 highs on Wednesday, as a month-long rally gained further impetus from a fall in U.S. crude stocks and conflict in the Middle East.
Brent crude LCOc1 was up $1.60 to $69.12 a barrel by 1252 GMT, after hitting a 2015 peak of $69.25.
U.S. crude CLc1 traded $1.59 higher at $61.99 a barrel, near an intraday high of $62.08.
“Bulls are in control of the market,” said Tamas Varga and Stephen Brennock, analysts at London brokerage PVM Oil Associates, in a note on Wednesday.
Industry group the American Petroleum Institution (API) said on Tuesday U.S. crude oil stocks fell, giving a lift to prices.
API said overall stocks fell by 1.5 million barrels while stocks at the key delivery point of Cushing, Oklahoma fell by 336,000 barrels. [API/S]
The U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration will issue official stockpiles data later on Wednesday. [EIA/S]
The fall in crude stocks was likely to be interpreted as “sign that the market is beginning to tighten” said Germany’s Commerzbank on Wednesday.
Conflict in Yemen continued on Wednesday after witnesses said planes from a Saudi Arabia-led coalition struck Yemeni towns overnight, following mortar attacks from Iran-allied Shi’ite Houthi rebels.