Oil prices reached jumped to their highest in years despite warnings that the 13 percent increase of crude oil could end soon.
Brent crude futures settled 6 cents higher at $69.26 a barrel, after hitting $70.05 a barrel during the session, its highest level since November 2014. Brent’s settlement still represents a three-year closing high amid signs of tightening supply in the United States.
Brent has gained 5 percent since the beginning of the year, picking up from its late-year surge.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures settled at $63.94 a barrel, up 37 cents, the highest since December 2014.
On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration said crude inventories fell almost 5 million barrels to 419.5 million barrels last week. Production slowed by nearly 300,000 barrels per day.
The decrease is expected to be short-termed which, according to analysts, is attributed to colder-than-usual weather across the United States last week. This is also suspended production in North America.
UAE Energy Minister and OPEC President Suhail al-Mazrouei said he expects the market to balance in 2018 and that the producer group is committed to its supply-reduction pact until the end of this year.
“OPEC is committed to what they have decided when we met in November (2017)...to continue this for a full year,” Mazrouei said in Abu Dhabi.
He added that more time is needed to achieve a full balance between oil supply and demand, as he expects market balance to be achieved in 2018 but more time is needed to drain the supply overhang.
Mazrouei also stated he was not worried about a supply shock due to the crude output declines in Venezuela and political unrest in Iran.