Investing.com – Crude oil prices settled higher Thursday as data showing U.S. crude supplies fell and comments that Saudi Arabia’s exports would fall in August renewed expectations for a global shortage in crude supplies.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange for August delivery rose 1% to settle at $69.46 a barrel, while on London’s Intercontinental Exchange, fell 1% to trade at $72.18 a barrel.
U.S. crude were boosted on forecasts that inventories at the U.S. oil delivery hub in Cushing, Oklahoma fell 1.8 million barrels, through Tuesday, traders said, citing energy information provider Genscape.
That prompted oil observers to renew bets on a global oil supply shortage as Saudi Arabia’s OPEC Governor Adeeb Al-Aama said in a statement that the kingdom expects crude exports to fall by about 100,000 barrels per day in August as it limits excess production.
Investors had scaled back expectations for a global oil supply shortage in recent weeks as Libya resumed exports and U.S. softened its stance on Iranian crude imports.
“We want people to reduce oil purchases to zero, but in certain cases if people can’t do that overnight, we’ll consider exceptions,” Mnuchin told reporters on Friday, Reuters reported. The comments were not released until Monday morning.
The uptick in oil prices comes a day after data showed inventories of U.S. crude rose by 5.836 million barrels for the week ended July 13, confounding expectations for of 3.622 million barrels.
The unexpected build in crude supplies came as imports fell by 1.635m barrels a day (bpd), and output rose to a record 11 million bpd.
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