Petroleum prices rose for a fourth day on Wednesday, putting both benchmarks on track for their highest closes in almost nine weeks, as signs of a speedy economic recovery made themselves felt, while upbeat forecasts for energy demand further brightened the picture.
Brent futures rose $1.09, or 1.6%, to $69.64 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.08, or 1.7%, to $66.36.
That put WTI on track for its highest close since March 9 and Brent on track for its highest close since March 11.
The price gains came ahead of a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expected to show a 2.8-million-barrel decline in U.S. crude inventories last week.
If correct, that would confirm data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) industry group late Tuesday that showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week to May 7.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its monthly report that oil demand is already outstripping supply and the shortfall is expected to widen even if Iran boosts exports as vaccinations against COVID-19 bolster the global economy.