Brent crude prices have increased due to expectations that the market has passed its lowest point.

Brent futures LCOc1 rose 18 cents and traded at $35.28 per barrel, while the US crude futures CLc1 dipped 12 cents to $32.66 a barrel, Reuters reported.

JBC Energy Asia director Richard Gorry told the news agency: "There is still a lot of downside risk… but the US crude market seems to have passed the worst point and crude runs should start creeping higher, taking pressure off inventory levels."

"The US crude market seems to have passed the worst point and crude runs should start creeping higher, taking pressure off inventory levels."

Industry data revealed that oil producers in the US reduced rigs count for a tenth straight week to the lowest since December 2009.

According to Morgan Stanley, a potential Russian-Saudi agreement to freeze output at January levels may also lead to an increase in oil prices.

Suspension of operations of the Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline for ten days due to bomb attacks by militants also supported oil prices.

The 970km-long pipeline, transports crude oil from Iraq’s Kurdistan region and the Kirkuk oil fields to the port of Ceyhan.

Turkey said that repairs on the pipeline would take some time.