Both benchmarks rose about $1 on Wednesday and have gained more than 6% since their close last Thursday. The unusual freeze hitting much of the United States could hamper crude output for days or even weeks, analysts said.
The Texas energy sector remained without power for a fifth day on Wednesday, after an arctic blast stretched deep into southern states not typically hit by extreme cold.
“A flurry of fresh buying in oil futures was triggered as an unexpected impact on oil production and refiners in Texas from a cold storm raised supply fears of crude and fuel,” said Chiyoki Chen, chief analyst at Sunward Trading.
“A larger-than-anticipated draw in the U.S. crude oil inventories also added to supply concerns,” Chen said.
U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) oil inventory data will be released later on Thursday, delayed by a day after a Monday holiday.
Oil prices have rallied over recent weeks on hopes for U.S. stimulus and as global supplies tighten, due largely to production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allied producers in the group OPEC+.
But OPEC+ sources told Reuters the group’s producers are likely to ease curbs on supply after April given the recovery in prices.