Oil surged to an eight-week high, as the continuing decline in US oil reserves raised optimism about the oil market outlook. Prices rose after Wednesday’s report showing a fourth consecutive week of declines in US oil inventories.

US crude oil inventories decreased by 7.2 million barrels last week to a total of 483.4 million barrels, significantly exceeding the projected decrease of 2.6 million barrels.

The report also showed that gasoline stocks in the US fell by 1.0 million barrels, against the expected decline of 0.6 million barrels.  The market sentiment improved following statements of representatives of Saudi Arabia and Nigeria on the reduction of oil exports and production. The reduction in investment plans by some US oil producers was a sign of a slowdown in the US shale oil industry, which also fuelled the “bullish” sentiment in the oil market.

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