Global oil prices advanced Thursday as WTI crude climbed towards $95 a barrel after stockpiles dropped in the US.
Light sweet crude for August delivery was seen trading at $94.92 a barrel at 12.30 p.m Singapore time while Brent crude was at $112.21 a barrel in London.
Analysts said dip in US crude inventories supported the black gold while Greece’s approval, of an austerity plan also helped it.
They added that London’s Brent crude dipped temporarily but could come back on growing optimism that the debt crisis in Greece will be resolved, thereby avoiding a contagion in Europe.
US Energy Department on Wednesday said crude inventories fell last week for a fourth week, dropping a larger-than-expected 4.4 million barrels. Gasoline stockpiles declined 1.4 million barrels.
Meanwhile the government of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, which won the first of two votes needed to usher in a new austerity plan aimed at securing an EU/IMF bailout.
Sales of emergency oil stocks began in Europe on Wednesday, as part of a plan by consuming nations to cool prices, but traders complained about confusing signals from different countries and industry lobbies warning of price spikes.
The International Energy Agency could decide by mid-July whether to release more oil from the strategic oil reserves but does not see the programme extending for longer than a month or two, an agency official said.
On Wednesday, New York’s main contract, West Texas Intermediate for delivery in August, rose $1.88 to close at $94.77 a barrel.
In London, Brent North Sea crude for August rallied $3.62 to close at $112.40 on the Intercontinental Exchange.