NEW YORK, July 28— Oil prices climbed for a consecutive fourth session on Thursday amid falling US inventories.
US crude stocks fell sharply by 7.2 million barrels last week to 483.4 million, more than the expected decrease of 2.6 million barrels and 1.4 percent below the level a year ago, according to the weekly report by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Analysts said the data bolstered expectations that the long-oversupplied market was moving toward balance.
Oil prices had also been supported by Saudi Arabia’s pledge to cap its exports earlier this week. Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said on Monday that the country would limit crude oil exports at 6.6 million barrels per day (bpd) in August, almost 1 million bpd below levels a year ago, according to media reports.
The West Texas Intermediate for September Delivery added USD 0.29 dollar to settle at USD 49.04 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for September delivery gained USD 0.52 to close at USD 51.49 a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.(Xinhua)