Oil prices erased early gains after Brent hit a new 13-month high above $65 a barrel on Thursday, as concerns that a rare cold snap in Texas could disrupt U.S. crude output for days or even weeks prompted fresh buying.
Brent crude was down 3 cents at $64.31 a barrel at 1046 GMT, after rising to $65.52 earlier in the session, its highest since Jan. 20, 2020.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures eased 4 cents to $61.10 a barrel, after earlier rising to $62.26, the highest since Jan. 8, 2020.
Texas’ freeze entered a sixth day on Thursday, as the largest energy-producing state in the United States grappled with massive refining outages and oil and gas shut-ins that rippled beyond its borders into neighbouring Mexico.
About 4 million barrels of daily refining capacity has been shuttered and at least 1 million barrels per day of oil production is also out.
“The temporary outage will help to accelerate U.S. oil inventories down towards the five-year average quicker than expected,” SEB chief commodities analyst Bjarne Schieldrop said.
Prices also gained support from a larger-than-anticipated draw in the U.S. crude oil inventories.