The price of Brent crude, the global reference, has risen by about 30% since the beginning of July, trading at about $96.50 per barrel on Wednesday.
Oil prices jumped to the highest level in a year as crude inventories in the largest US storage center fell to the lowest level since July 2022.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil surpassed $93 a barrel after inventories in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell to just under 22 million barrels, near the operating minimum. While the difference between short-term contracts for West Texas Intermediate crude reached about $2 per barrel, the highest level since July 2022, an indication that the futures market reflects the physical tightness.
While the rise in oil prices has revived talk of a $100 level for crude, gains have slowed over the past week. India, a major consumer, has noticed the negative effects of rising prices on its economy, which raises some questions about the demand outlook for next year.
However, stocks remained declining in most regions. At the Cushing Center, tanks in the storage center are operating at 25% of capacity.
“What I fear in this market is that we have unloaded a lot of inventories,” Amrita Sen, co-founder and head of research at consulting firm Energy Aspects, told Bloomberg TV. “Right now, in the United States, we are seeing a dry Cushing.”