Oil prices increased on Thursday after Saudi Arabia rejected calls for more OPEC+ production and the International Energy Agency said rising natural gas costs could increase demand for oil among power generators. The market pared gains as refiners cut production during a typically slower period for those facilities, causing crude stocks in the United States to rise more than expected.
After touching a session high of $84.50 a barrel, Brent oil futures rose 57 cents, or 0.7 percent, to $83.76 a barrel. WTI crude futures in the United States climbed 52 cents to $80.96. Crude stockpiles in the United States increased by a surprise 6 million barrels, far more than the tiny 702,000 barrel gain projected by analysts. Production increased slightly to 11.4 million bpd. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), oil demand is expected to rise by half a million barrels per day (bpd) as the power industry and heavy industries move from more expensive sources of energy, causing inflation and slowing the world's economic recovery from the pandemic.
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