Oil traded above $71 a barrel on concerns over market tightness after U.S. crude inventories fell for a fifth week at a time when American sanctions against Iran threaten to whittle global supplies.
West Texas Intermediate for October delivery, which expires Thursday, gained as much as 69 cents to $71.81 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, and was at $71.71 by 10:21 a.m. in Seoul. Prices advanced $1.27 to $71.12 on Wednesday. Total volume traded was about 4 percent above the 100-day average. The more-active November contract added 0.6 percent.
Brent for November settlement traded at $79.57 a barrel on the ICE Futures Europe exchange, up 17 cents. Prices on Wednesday climbed 37 cents to $79.40. The global benchmark crude traded at a $8.35 premium to West Texas Intermediate for the same month.