West Texas Intermediate crude price highest level in more than a year on US stockpile data

Francesca Washtell
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Oil prices have buoyed above the $50 for most of the last three weeks (Source: Getty)

Prices of the black stuff rose more than two per cent today after a surprise fall in US crude inventories.

Stockpiles fell by 5.2m barrels in the week ended 14 October, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration, dashing analysts' expectations of a build. This is the sixth fall in inventories in seven weeks.

US benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude hit a 15-month high, lifting $1.25, or 2.92 per cent, to $51.76.

Global benchmark Brent crude rose by $1.47, or 2.42 per cent, to $52.93 a barrel.

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On Tuesday, figures from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed stockpiles in the US fell by 3.8m barrels in the week to 14 October, to 467.1m barrels in total.

Oil prices made gains earlier today on more data, this time released by China, which showed crude output in the Asian giant fell 9.8 per cent in September to 3.89m barrels per day (bpd), near its lowest level in six years.

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Oil prices have stayed around the $50 mark in recent weeks, following the announcement of a provisional deal from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to introduce the first production freeze in eight years.

Opec is hoping oil producers, such as Russia, that are not part of the 14-member organisation will also slash their output, in a bid to combat the global supply glut that has weighed heavily on prices.

In January, the value of a barrel of oil plummeted to a 13-year low of $27.

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