Shafaq News/ Oil prices inched up on Wednesday after a drop in U.S. crude inventories reinforced OPEC's robust demand outlook, while the market awaited fresh updates on the Colonial Pipeline outage.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 13 cents, or 0.18%, to $65.40 a barrel at 0533 GMT, adding to a 36 cent rise on Tuesday.
Brent crude futures climbed 9 cents, or 0.13% to $68.63 a barrel, adding to a 23 cent gain on Tuesday.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group showed U.S. crude oil stocks fell by 2.5 million barrels in the week to May 7, according to two market sources.
The drawdown came before the Colonial Pipeline was hit by a cyberattack last Friday which forced the pipeline, which transports more than 2.5 million barrels a day of fuel, to shut down. The operator said it hopes to restart a large portion of the network by the end of the week.
In the meantime, the market remained on edge, as gasoline stations from Florida to Virginia began running out of fuel on Tuesday as drivers rushed to top up their tanks and pump prices rocketed.
Oil prices were also supported by the latest outlook from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which stuck to a forecast for a strong recovery in world oil demand in 2021 with growth in China and the United States outweighing the impact of the coronavirus crisis in India.
OPEC said it expects demand to rise by 5.95 million bpd this year, unchanged from its forecast last month. However, it cut its demand outlook for the second quarter by 300,000 bpd due to soaring COVID-19 infections in India.