Oil prices rallied again on Thursday to hit 13month highs as concerns that a rare cold snap in Texas could disrupt U.S. crude output for days or even weeks prompted fresh buying.
Brent crude was up 56 cents, or 0.9, at 64.90 a barrel at 0744 GMT, after rising to 65.62 earlier in the session, its highest since Jan. 20, 2020.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude futures gained 46 cents, or 0.8, to 61.60 a barrel, after earlier rising to 62.26, the highest since Jan. 8, 2020.
Both benchmarks rose about 1 on Wednesday and have gained about 6 since their close last Thursday.
Texas freeze entered a sixth day on Thursday, as the largest energyproducing state in the United States grappled with massive refining outages and oil and gas shutins that rippled beyond its borders into neighbouring Mexico.
Roughly 1 million barrels per day bpd of crude production has been shut, according to Wood Mackenzie analysts, and it could be weeks before it is fully restored.
Oil prices got a boost again from expectations that the disruptions of Texas oil producers and refiners due to the cold storm could last for a while, said Hiroyuki Kikukawa, general manager of research at Nissan Securities.
With hopes of fresh U.S. economic stimulus and wider rollouts of the COVID19 vaccine, oil prices are expected to stay on the bullish trend, he said, predicting that WTI could test a key 65 level.
In addition, a largerthananticipated draw in the U.S. crude oil inventories added to supply concerns,…