Prices of crude inched towards $82 a barrel on 5 January because of the high demand for heating fuel during the cold weather conditions in the US and Europe.

For February delivery, US crude prices increased by 15¢ to $81.65 a barrel at 8:21am GMT, while London Brent crude increased by 21¢ to $80.33 a barrel, according to Reuters.

Cold weather in the US increased demand for heating fuel by over 20%, with north-eastern US demand witnessing an 11% rise from normal levels.

Oil prices were also affected by the oil price dispute between Russia and Belarus where supplies to Belarus were momentarily suspended.