Oil prices soared in the wake of a larger-than-expected reduction in US crude stockpiles and growing expectations for an extended shutdown of a major North Sea crude pipeline.

Brent crude jumped 64 cents, or 1%, trading at $63.98 a barrel after touching a new high, breaching the $65 mark for the first time since mid-2015, according to Reuters.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude increased by 42 cents, or 0.7%, trading at $57.56 a barrel.

The upsurge in Brent prices was witnessed after Ineos decided to shut down the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea to undertake repair works after detecting a crack at Red Moss near Netherley, south of Aberdeen in the UK.

“The pipeline incident came just when the markets are tightening on coordinated production cuts.”

Mitsubishi UFJ Research and Consulting senior economist Tomomichi Akuta was quoted by the news agency as saying: “The pipeline incident came just when the markets are tightening on coordinated production cuts.”

Traders noted that Brent prices were influenced by the planned shutdown of the pipeline, which carries about 450,000bpd.

In response to the shutdown, several producers, including BP and Shell, closed operations at their oil fields.

Based on data released by the American Petroleum Institute (API), crude stocks in the US fell by 7.4 million barrels.

On the other hand, gasoline stocks rose by 2.3 million barrels and distillate fuels stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, increased by 1.5 million barrels.