Oil prices rose on Thursday as higher inventories and record production in the United States provided investors with relief following concerns over disrupted Red Sea shipments. “Oil concerns itself with the state of U.S. production this morning and enters the day less buoyant than that of late,” PVM Oil analyst John Evans observed.
Brent crude prices rose 0.1%, or 13 cents, to $79.80 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate, the US benchmark, was up by 4 cents to $74.26. This is both benchmarks’ third consecutive daily price rise, pushed higher as observers worried about trade disruption as suppliers look to divert shipments away from the Red Sea, thereby incurring additional transport costs.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced on Wednesday that U.S. crude inventories rose to 443.7 million barrels; a 2.9 million barrel increase from December 15. This figure significantly outpaced analysts’ expectations of a 2.3 million barrel drop. U.S. crude output rose to a record 13.3 million barrels per day (bpd) last week, exceeding the previous record daily output of 13.2 million bpd.