Oil prices rose about 1 percent to three-year highs on Thursday, pushing the global Brent benchmark past $70 a barrel, on further signs of tightening supply in the United States and expectations that OPEC’s output cuts would underpin the market.
Brent crude surged to $70.05 a barrel, its highest since November 2014. As of 12:54 p.m. EST (1754 GMT), the contract was trading 56 cents, or 0.8 percent, higher at $69.76. Brent has gained 5 percent since the beginning of the year, picking up from its late-year surge.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 86 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $64.43, the highest since December 2014.
“(U.S.) crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since August 2015,” said PVM Oil Associates analyst Tamas Varga. “OPEC is edging ever closer to its desired target of reducing OECD industrial stocks to the five-year average.”