Oil futures held steady on Thursday as a drop in crude exports from OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, and a draw in U.S. oil inventories supported prices, while a strengthening dollar kept futures in check.
Brent crude futures were higher at $71.73 a barrel by 1:20 p.m. EDT (1720 GMT), up 11 cents from their last close and near Wednesday’s five-month high of $72.27. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 10 cents at $63.66 a barrel.
Saudi Arabia’s crude oil exports fell by 277,000 barrels to just under 7 million bpd in February from the month before, according to data from the Joint Organizations Data Initiative (JODI).
U.S. crude, gasoline and distillate inventories fell dropped week, with crude posting an unexpected drawdown, the first in four weeks, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data showed on Wednesday. Read More