Futures Movers: Oil prices rise to nearly 2-year highs on U.S. crude stock drawdown

Oil prices rose near two-year highs Thursday after data showed a decline in U.S. crude stocks.

February West Texas Intermediate oil on the New York Mercantile Exchange CLG8, -0.12%  rose 4 cents, or 0.1%, at $59.68 a barrel. February Brent LCOG8, -0.12%  rose 1 cent, or less than 0.1%, to $66.45 a barrel.

Both grades have approached their highest levels since 2015 amid thin trading over the Christmas holiday and ahead of New Year.

Prices were boosted after the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday said U.S. crude inventories declined by 6 million barrels for the week ended Dec. 22.

The Energy Information Administration will release official data later Thursday.

Crude futures were buoyed earlier in the week by supply disruptions in Libya as well as the ongoing outage of the Forties Pipeline System in the North Sea, which stopped the flow of 450,000 barrels a day.

The pipeline operator Ineos said Tuesday the Forties should be fully operational early in the New Year.

Elsewhere in the energy complex, January heating oil HOF8, -0.16% fell 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $2.0375 a gallon. Its close at $2.04 Wednesday marked a 52-week high for heating oil and the highest settlement since Feb. 27, 2015, according to WSJ Market Data Group. January gasoline RBF8, -0.46% fell 1 cent, or 0.6%, at $1.7817 a gallon.

Natural gas NGG18, +3.44% for February delivery picked up 8 cents, or 3%, to $2.816 per million British thermal units.

Meteorologists were forecasting bitter temperatures in much of the U.S. to close out 2017, which could support further buying in natural gas and heating oil.

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