Price of Brent crude oil was up on Thursday as a major withdrawal in US’ crude oil stocks indicates oil demand in the world’s largest oil consuming country is increasing. 

The international benchmark was trading at $44.03 per barrel at 0620 GMT for a 0.64% gain after closing Wednesday at $43.75 a barrel. 

However, American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was at $41.19 a barrel at the same time for 0.19% decline after it ended the previous session at $41.27 per barrel. 

On Wednesday, Brent crude gained 1.23% and WTI rose 0.56% after the US’ Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported a massive decline in the country’s crude oil inventories. 

Commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell by 10.6 million barrels, or 2%, to 526 million barrels for the week ending July 24, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was an increase of 0.3 million barrels. 

The massive decline in the US’ crude oil inventories signals that oil consumption in the country is on the rise with the summer driving season. 

On the global demand side, however, oil prices are still under pressure due to the rising number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases throughout the world.

The total number of COVID-19 cases in the world has surpassed 17 million, according to the latest data from Johns Hopkins University.

The US continues to lead with the most cases at 4.4 million, followed by Brazil with more than 2.5 million cases, while India has the third highest with almost 1.6 million cases.

By Ovunc Kutlu

Copyright 2020 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.