Crude oil and refined product futures experienced gains on Thursday, driven by positive market indicators. The International Energy Agency (IEA) raised its estimates for global oil demand in 2024, and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a decline in US oil stocks last week.
Oil Prices Soar
The NYMEX March West Texas Intermediate (WTI) contract saw an increase of approximately $1.50, reaching $74 per barrel by 12:10 p.m. ET. Similarly, the front-month February WTI contract climbed $1.60 to $74.15 per barrel.
March Brent crude, based in London, experienced a rise of $1.25, reaching $79.15 per barrel. The April Brent contract also increased by $1.20 to $79.70 per barrel.
Refined Product Prices Also Surge
The NYMEX March RBOB contract rose by 3.75 cents, reaching $2.196 per gallon. Additionally, the February RBOB contract saw the same increase, reaching $2.1730 per gallon. March ULSD also surged by 3.75 cents to $2.658 per gallon, while the February ULSD contract advanced by 3.85 cents to $2.6925 per gallon.
Decline in US Crude Stocks
According to the EIA's morning report, US crude stocks fell by approximately 2.5 million barrels in the week ending Friday. Despite this positive development, both gasoline and distillate stocks rose, though the increase was lower than the gains observed in the previous two weeks.
Positive Outlook for Global Production
The IEA has projected an increase in global crude production of 1.2 million barrels per day this year, surpassing its previous forecast of a 1.1 million barrel per day gain made in December. Furthermore, the agency highlighted that global oil demand growth weakened towards the end of last year and is expected to lose further momentum.
Frank Tang and Jeff Barber contributed to this report.
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