Inclement weather in the Gulf of Mexico posed the possibility of reducing production of crude oil, which helped push up prices on Wednesday, Bloomberg reports.
As a weather system strengthened, speculation fell on the U.S. Energy Department indicating inventory levels reduced by 2 million barrels in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee, according to a report scheduled to be released on Thursday. The American Petroleum Institute also is slated to release a report germane to crude oil inventories.
"A new storm is building up strength, which is giving the market a boost," broker Tom Bentz with BNP Paribas Commodity Futures in New York told Bloomberg. "The API report tonight and the DOE report tomorrow will probably show a crude draw. There's also optimism that President Obama will announce additional stimulus in his upcoming speech."
At 1:29 p.m. on Wednesday, crude oil futures increased 2.21 percent, a $2.49 gain to $115.38 per barrel.
U.S. President Barack Obama is preparing to deliver a speech on Thursday about strategies of spurring job creation but Jeff Sessions, ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, indicated he will oppose the president's plan out of consideration for the U.S. incurring even more debt, according to The Hill.
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