Reductions to production by Saudi Arabia last month pushed up Brent crude oil prices on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Also benefiting the energy commodity on Thursday was shipments from Yemen sharply slowing after an explosion and stronger than anticipated economic data about trade and commerce in China, which trails only the U.S. for consumption of oil.
"These three factors – Saudi Arabia, Yemen and the China data – are all helping to push up the market," oil analyst Tamas Varga with broker PVM Oil Associates in London told Reuters on Thursday. "Short term, the Saudi output figures are bullish, but longer term they are more bearish, because they suggest Saudi Arabia sees the need to cut to balance the market."
At 10:32 a.m. on Thursday, WTI crude oil futures gained 1.01 percent, a 94-cent lift to $94.03 per barrel. Brent crude oil futures increased 0.61 percent, a 68-cent lift to $112.45 per barrel.
Oil production from Saudi Arabia fell roughly 700,000 barrels per day during the final two months of last year. December production was at roughly 9 million barrels per day, the news source reports.
As the world's top shipper of the energy commodity, Saudi Arabia generated 9.025 million barrels in December, which was down from 9.49 million barrels per day during the month prior.
That figure is at least 1 million barrels per day less than peak output during the past summer.
Reports of foul play elsewhere in the Middle East also impacted the price of crude oil futures.
The primary export pipeline of crude stopped flows on Thursday after an explosion, according to officials.
Authorities with the government of Yemen said the attack was undertaken by an unknown entity. The attack occurred in the central Maarib province. That port only had re-started flow of the energy commodity after extensive repairs this past December.
Oil industry officials also noted that most of the oil that passes through the Middle Eastern nation ceased as a result of the attack.
"The bombing of the pipeline made us stop the crude pumping from the fields to the export terminal," a Yemen oil ministry official told Reuters.
Crude oil prices also climbed because of strong import and export data from China.
Asian nation bouncing back?
The trade balance of China widened in December, pushing past the majority of projections.
After having checked in at $19.6 billion in November, it registered at $31.6 billion the following month.
The Wall Street Journal reports a customs official told reporters that China will continue bringing in large amounts of energy as 2013 proceeds.
Imports strengthened last year at a moderate pace of 6.8 percent, which was stronger than the 6.1 percent import growth from the year prior.
But those numbers were nowhere near the 17.5 percent from 2010, which occurred prior to the domestic economy losing some of its steam.
A commodity strategist told Bloomberg that the Asian nation's figures will prove to be beneficial for the commodities complex.
"This is positive for commodities including oil demand," commodity strategist Jeremy Friesen with Societe Generale in Hong Kong told Bloomberg on Thursday. "We continue to see outperformance for China through the first quarter as this cyclical recovery continues, but improved external demand would add to this bullishness."
Thursday's gains come one day after the energy commodity lost value.
The U.S. Department of Energy indicated that supplies of crude oil increased by 1.3 million barrels.
"Inventories have been elevated for some time," analyst David Lennox with Fat Prophets in Sydney told Bloomberg on Thursday. "There might be a modest recovery in demand in the U.S. China will put further pressure on the demand side this year."
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