(New York) Oil prices continued to rise on Wednesday, for the third consecutive session, due to disruptions in the supply of crude linked, among other things, to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.
Despite an increase in weekly US stocks, a normally bearish figure for the market, the price of a barrel of Brent rose 1.67% to 85.09 dollars.
Its American equivalent, a barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) for delivery in March, gained 1.72% to 78.47 dollars.
Commercial crude oil reserves rose by 2.4 million barrels last week in the United States, close to estimates that had been betting on a rise of 2 million, according to figures released Wednesday by the United States Information Agency. on Energy (EIA).
Gasoline stocks, on the other hand, rose more than expected to 5 million barrels when analysts expected 1.6 million.
But for Andy Lipow, of Lipow Oil associates, the continued rise in prices was mainly due to supply disruptions around the Ceyhan oil terminal in Turkey due to the earthquake.
The disaster, which occurred on Monday and which killed more than 12,000 people according to a latest report, did not destroy the pipelines, but interrupted the supply of electricity necessary for the transport of oil, said the analyst.
Moreover, prices were also trending upwards as the exploitation of a Norwegian oil field, located in the North Sea (Johan Sverdrup phase 1) was interrupted at the start of the week due to a technical incident.
Finally, expectations of a recovery in demand from China, the world’s largest rough importer, continued to guide the market, even if Chinese consumption of black gold in January remained “relatively static”, said Stephen Innes of SPI.
Although concrete signs are still awaited, “Saudi Arabia has been optimistic about demand in recent days,” notes Stephen Brennock of PVM Energy.
The country surprised markets this week by raising the official selling price of its crude destined for Asia in March.