Oil crept up on Thursday amid ongoing tensions over the death of a prominent Saudi journalist, with prices steadying after a big drop overnight due to a jump in US crude stockpiles.
US West Texas Intermediate crude for October delivery was higher 12 cents, or 0.2 percent, $69.87 per barrel, after falling 3 percent in the previous session to settle below $70 for the first time in a month.
Front-month London Brent crude for delivery in December was higher 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $80.18, having ended down 1.7 percent.
US crude stocks gained 6.5 million barrels last week, the US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday, the fourth straight weekly build and almost three times what the analysts had forecast.
“The impact of the inventor y-jump weighed on the market and oil seems bearish,” stated Kaname Gokon, who is a trader in Japan. “The United States may have to go ahead with sanctions on Saudi Arabia, which could push prices higher, but Russia and other producers are set to increases supplies.”
Inventories increased steeply even as US crude production slid 300,000 barrels per day to 10.9 million barrels per day last week due to the effects of offshore facilities closing temporarily for Hurricane Michael.
US lawmakers blamed the Saudi leadership over the disappearance of prominent Saudi critic and journalist Jamal Khashoggi, indicating that sanctions could be possible.