Brent crude jumped to $70 per barrel after the Energy Information Administration (EIA) released a report noting a far deeper than expected decline in crude inventories for the last week of 2019.
US commercial crude inventories decreased by 11.5mn barrels during that week, whereas analysts predicted a decline of approximately 3mn barrels after the EIA noted a 5.5mn barrel draw the previous week.
It noted that crude oil inventories are at the five year average for this time of the year, at 429.9mn barrels.
This increase follows a small increase in prices due to a US airstrike near Baghdad airport which killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, as well as an Iraqi commander. The strike sparking concerns about escalating conflict in the region, and the potential impact on supply.