Crude Oil Prices Hover Near 4-year Highs

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Crude oil prices edged higher Thursday morning with traders betting on possible short supply in the market post implementation of sanctions on Iranian oil from November.

Despite Wednesday's data from U.S. energy information administration that showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles, crude oil futures moved higher today on reports that the U.S. will not open up its strategic petroleum reserves.

According to reports, the U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry has stated that the U.S. will not open up its strategic petroleum reserves or put a cap on prices.

Crude oil futures for November delivery were up $0.77, or 1.08%, at $72.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. On Wednesday, oil futures ended down $0.71, or about 1%, at $71.57 a barrel.

Brent Crude futures for December were up $0.62, or 0.77%, at $81.41 a barrel.

According to the data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday, crude supplies in the U.S. unexpectedly increased in the week ended September 21, rising by nearly 1.9 million barrels. Analysts were expecting a drop of over 2 million bar. The report said U.S. crude production hit a record 11.1 million bpd in the week.

The EIA report revealed gasoline stockpiles to have risen 1.5 million barrels last week. It said distillate stockpiles fell by 2.2 million barrels in the week.
 
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