Brent crude futures climbed 7 cents, or 0.1%, to $96.66 a barrel as of 0030 GMT after rising 3.1% on Thursday. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude was at $90.65 a barrel, up 15 cents, or 0.2%, after rising 2.7% in the previous session.
Still, the benchmark contracts were heading for weekly losses of around 1.5%.
“The oil market rose as bullish weekly data in the US bolstered optimism that near-term fuel demand is improving,” said Satoru Yoshida, commodities analyst at Rakuten Securities.
“But lingering recession fears and a possible OPEC+ production boost will likely limit the upside,” he said, referring to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its partners, collectively known as OPEC+.
U.S. crude inventories fell sharply as the country exported a record 5 million barrels of oil a day in the most recent week, with oil companies finding strong demand from European nations seeking to replace crude from Russia at war.
U.S. crude inventories fell 7.1 million barrels in the week to Aug. 12, according to Energy Information Administration data, against expectations for a drop of 275,000 barrels.
U.S. oil refineries expect to continue operating at full capacity this quarter, according to executives and estimates, as refiners put aside worries about the recession and falling retail prices to supply more fuel.
New OPEC secretary general Haitham Al Ghais told Reuters that policymakers, lawmakers and insufficient investment in the oil and gas sector are to blame for high energy prices, not this group.
At its next meeting on Sept. 5, Al Ghais said OPEC+, which includes other oil suppliers like Russia, “could cut production if necessary, we could add production if necessary… Anything depends on how things go.”
OPEC is keen to ensure that Russia remains part of the OPEC+ oil production deal after 2022, Al Ghais said.
Russia expects increased production and exports until the end of 2025, according to an economy ministry document seen by Reuters, indicating that energy export revenues will increase by 38% this year, partly due to higher oil export volumes.
Iran, meanwhile, increased its oil exports in June and July and could increase them further this month by offering a deeper discount to Russian crude for its main buyer, China, companies that follow have said. flows.