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Oil prices rose today after US Energy Information Administration (EIA) data revealed a drop in distillate stocks due to continued frigid weather.

According to Reuters, Brent crude increased by $0.12 to $106.37 a barrel, while US crude gained $0.26 to $97.64 a barrel.

Crude prices rose after the latest data from the EIA revealed that stockpiles of distillates, including heating oil, fell last week by 2.4 million barrels as severe snow and ice storms in the north-eastern states boosted demand for heating fuels.

According to the data, the crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, where Keystone pipeline operated by TransCanada started draining oil to send to the Gulf Coast, also fell by 1.6 million barrels.

Crude oil prices received support from the data, as the draw at Cushing relieved a supply glut that has depressed prices over the last three years.

"The EIA data also revealed a smaller-than-expected build-up of crude oil of 440,000 barrels."

But the crude may come under pressure in the near future, as distillates demand fall slightly based on the expectation that the winter weather will finally moderate and relieve demand of heating fuels.

The EIA data also revealed a smaller-than-expected build-up of crude oil of 440,000 barrels.

Markets are waiting for the outcome of the European Central Bank policy meeting, where policymakers may consider further stimulus to help a still-fragile euro zone economy.


Image: EIA data revealed a much smaller than expected build in stocks. Photo: courtesy of Michelle Meiklejohn.

Energy