Oil prices have increased to almost $50 a barrel, based on expectations that a global decrease in oil will reduce amounts of unwanted crude.

Brent crude futures edged up 58 cents at $49.19 a barrel, while US crude futures increased 56 cents to $49.18 a barrel, Reuters reported.

The global oil supply decreased by nearly four million barrels per day this month after a series of incidents, such as fires in Canada and military attacks in Nigeria, caused temporary outages worldwide.

"We are definitely moving out of this surplus situation that we’ve been living in since mid-2014."

SEB head commodities strategist Bjarne Schieldrop told the news agency: "We are definitely moving out of this surplus situation that we’ve been living in since mid-2014.

"There will still be some time, maybe six months of surplus, but then we’re basically into rebalancing."

Strikes across France over new labour laws have so far had little impact on crude oil prices, but have helped lift refining margins for diesel and gasoline.

The strike has spread to all eight oil refineries in the country.

Data released on Tuesday highlighted a fall in US crude inventories by 5.1 million barrels to 536.8 million last week.