The price of oil rebounded above $31 a barrel here on Wednesday in response to publication of data showing a fall of US stocks of crude oil.
The price of benchmark Brent crude oil for December delivery rose to $31.27 a barrel from $30.76 at the close on Tuesday. Figures from the American Petroleum Institute late on Tuesday showing a 750,000-barrel fall in US crude oil inventories last week took the market by surprise because an increase had been expected, analysts said.
However, refineries were likely to keep stocks as low as possible to reduce costs, analysts said.
Oil stocks "do not necessarily reflect the availability of the world market," the GNI brokerage said in a research note.
The market was also keeping a close eye on the Middle East, where Israeli and Palestinian leaders have failed to implement a commitment last month to return to the troubled peace process.
An announcement by the US government on Tuesday that its forces in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been put on the highest security alert because of a "credible threat" of terrorist attacks against unspecified targets had increased concern that the conflict would spread, analysts said.
Any disruption to oil supplies could exert considerable upward pressure on prices, which have already surged to 10-year highs above $35 dollars a barrel in recent weeks on dwindling inventories.
A 500,000-barrel-a-day output increase announced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries on Monday did little to contain prices.—AFP.
©--Agenece France Presse.