Oil prices jumped on Wednesday, putting Brent on track for its highest close in almost two years on signs of a speedy economic recovery and upbeat forecasts for energy demand. Brent futures rose $1.12, or 1.6%, to $69.67 a barrel by 1444 GMT, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $1.10, or 1.7%, to $66.38. Gains soon after the release of weekly inventory data put WTI on course for its highest close since October 29, 2018 and Brent for its highest close since May 28, 2019. Those price gains came despite a smaller-than-expected US weekly crude inventory draw and a surprise increase in the gasoline stockpile. “At this time of year, we should be burning through a lot of gasoline and that’s not what this report is showing,” Bob Yawger, Director of Energy Futures at Mizuho, said, noting he did not “think there’s a skew to the data due to the Colonial (pipeline) outage.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 13th, 2021.