Oil Price Reaches Top Level in Almost Eight Weeks

Oil prices dip but stay near eight-week highs on U.S. stock declines

At 12:40pm, WTI Crude was up 0.88 percent at US$49.18, while Brent Crude was trading up 1.20 percent at US$51.58 - price levels not seen since the first week of June.

Oil prices were sitting just below 8-week highs on Thursday, buoyed by hopes that a steeper-than-expected decline in US crude oil inventories will reduce global oversupply.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude September futures were down $0.27%, at $48.91 per barrel. Physical markets have firmed due in large part to very strong refining margins.

USA oil drillers added two rigs in the most recent week, the third week of gains, raising the overall rig count to 766.

US oil prices surged toward the key $50 a barrel level this week, but the rally likely has little gas left in the tank, analysts say.

In Pics: Gujarat floods wreak havoc
Rajasthan's Jalore, Pali and Sirohi districts have been inundated and road and rail traffic has been thrown out of gear. A high alert has been sounded as more than 20 highways of the state got submerged into floods .

The market was bolstered by bigger-than-expected inventory drawdowns on Wednesday and signals from Saudi Arabia that the world's biggest oil producer would further reduce output in August.

The gains in Brent pushed the difference between the two benchmarks to the widest in two months.

USA crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels in the week to July 21 due to strong refining activity and an increase in exports, according to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA). OPEC agreed to slash the output by 1.2 million barrels per day from January 1.

ClipperData LLC, the global leader in real-time tracking of crude oil and petroleum product flows, today announced a no-cost trial of its Global Crude Oil Report to help serious market participants assess crude oil supplies at what could turn out to be a turning point for the oil market.

USA stockpiles continued to fall this week, and OPEC insists it will curb supplies through 2018, if necessary. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the U.S. now stands at 958 rigs, up 495 rigs from previous year, with oil rigs in the United States increasing by 2 and gas rigs increasing by 6 this week.

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