Oil prices climbed on Monday, looking to extend gains made last week on the back of halted production at a Libyan oil field and an unexpected drop in U.S. crude stockpiles.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil for April delivery CLJ8, +0.65% on the New York Mercantile Exchange—the U.S. benchmark—rose 34 cents, or 0.5%, to $63.89 a barrel after trading as low as $63.06. For last week, it rose roughly 3.3%, but the contract is still around 1% lower month to date.
The global benchmark—April Brent crude LCOJ8, +0.46% —tacked on 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $67.59 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange. Last week, it put up a weekly gain of 3.8%.
The weekly U.S. petroleum inventory report due Wednesday is “likely to provide some support, as a large build to crude stocks—as is seasonal for February—continues to be errant amid lower net imports,” said Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Thursday the amount of crude oil in storage fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16. The surprise decline followed weeks of crude inventory builds in the U.S. that, along with rising production, had weighed on prices.
“Total U.S. commercial oil stocks subsequently dipped below the five-year average for the first time in nearly four years,” according to Stephen Brennock, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates Ltd.
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