OIL prices edged higher on Wednesday, adding to steep gains in the previous session, as markets eyed an escalation of Middle East tensions after Europe's air traffic control agency warned of possible air strikes on Syria in the next 72 hours.
Oil inventories rose by 3.3 million barrels with gasoline inventories up by 500,000 barrels, the Energy Information Administration said.
But as oil production collapsed in OPEC member Venezuela and is still facing hiccups in countries such as Libya and Angola, the oil exporters' group is still producing below its targets, meaning the world needs to use stocks to meet rising demand.
As crude production in the North Sea continues to evolve, its role in an increasingly globalized market has started to shift, having an impact on Dated Brent and its position as a global oil benchmark.
It is no surprise that interest rates on bonds have spiked after crude oil prices touched their highest level in four years.
The threat came after the Russian ambassador to Lebanon said his nation's military would intercept American missiles and potentially target the USA craft that fired them.
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The market is also keeping an eye on developments out of Syria, after reports an air base near Homs was struck by missiles.
Ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China also kept markets on edge, traders said. That was the highest finish for the most active contract since December 1, 2014, according to FactSet.
After falling from an all-time high of $147 per barrel in July 2008, Brent crude price had hit a peak of $115 per barrel in June 2014 before excess inventory in the oil market forced the price down to $27 per barrel in February 2016.
After more than a year, WTI is nearly close to our final target as it trades at $66.6 per barrel.
OPEC, Russia and several other non-OPEC producers began trimming supply in January 2017.
OPEC, together with Russian Federation and a group of other producers, last November extended the output cuts to cover all of 2018. The U.S. and its allies are considering a strike against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces following a suspected poison gas attack last weekend. The big build was a surprise after analysts had forecast a decrease of 189,000 barrels.