(Bloomberg) – Oil held on to gains after industry-funded report showed further decline in inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma storage facility, with supply levels already at their lowest since 2018 .

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U.S. crude futures rose 1.1% on Tuesday, the highest since 2014. The industry-funded American Petroleum Institute said crude supplies at Cushing fell 3.73 million barrels last week, according to people familiar with the data. It would be the biggest drop since January if confirmed by US government data on Wednesday.

Supply drops at Cushing in recent weeks have resulted in huge changes in timelines as traders pay premiums for more immediate supply. The balances of supply and demand at the hub result in daily oil exchanges worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Fears of inventories falling below minimum operating levels have continued to drive oil prices higher, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at Price Futures Group Inc. unbelievable. We are approaching the void.

Crude futures have surged in recent months with a shortage of natural gas and coal boosting demand for petroleum products. Larry Fink, president and CEO of BlackRock Inc., even said there was a high probability that crude could reach $ 100 a barrel. The global benchmark Brent is approaching its 2018 high of $ 86.74 per barrel.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies are due to meet next week to assess production policy. Nigeria this week joined OPEC + member Saudi Arabia in saying the group must resist pressure to increase oil production faster until the coronavirus pandemic subsides .

API also reported an increase in crude supply of 2.32 million barrels last week. Gasoline and distillate inventories have also increased, the data shows.

The price structure of the crude market remains deeply retrograde, an uptrend in which short-term prices are more expensive than more distant ones. Brent’s rapid spread – the difference between its two closest contracts – is 75 cents a barrel after hitting 97 cents on Monday. Global benchmark crude is approaching its 2018 high of $ 86.74 per barrel.

Traders are also keeping an eye out for talks that could eventually help revive an Iran nuclear deal, allowing crude exports to resume. Talks between Tehran and the European Union are due to take place in Brussels on Wednesday, as part of a long-term effort to pave the way for a wider diplomatic push.

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