Oil prices were trading higher for a third straight session on Thursday after data showed a fall in U.S. inventories and Saudi Arabia said it would “temporarily halt” all oil shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb.
Brent crude futures were up 52 cents or 0.73 percent at $74.42 a barrel after rising 0.7 percent in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures were up 13 cents at $69.391 a barrel after climbing over 1 percent on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, said it suspended all shipments through the strategic Red Sea shipping lane of Bab al-Mandeb after Yemeni Houthi rebels attacked two big oil tankers on Wednesday morning, one of which sustained minimal damage.
Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said all oil exports through the southern Red Sea would be halted until the situation becomes clearer and the maritime transit through Bab al-Mandeb is safe.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Energy Information Administration report showed that U.S. crude inventories fell to their lowest levels since February 2015 in the week to July 20, helping ease recent worries about oversupply.
Crude inventories fell 6.1 million barrels, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 2.3 million barrels.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com