West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest price since October on signs that strengthening demand is depleting inventories in the U.S., the world’s biggest oil consumer.
The International Energy Agency raised estimates for global oil demand in 2014 amid an economic recovery in the U.S. Futures were little changed in New York after rising 1.2 percent yesterday. Crude stockpiles shrank by 7.5 million barrels last week, a report from the American Petroleum Institute showed yesterday. Government data to be released today is forecast to show supplies dropped by 3 million, according to a Bloomberg News survey. In Libya, three eastern ports will reopen Dec. 15, said the head of the country’s energy-protection force.
“Demand has started to surprise to the upside in the U.S. and Europe, hence we’ve seen a few short-covering rallies,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil market strategist at Energy Aspects Ltd., a London-based consultant. “People went short expecting oversupply and the return of Libyan barrels, but Libya has yet to return.”
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