Crude Oil Settles At Highest Since Nov 5th

WTI crude oil closed at $65.08/barrel Thursday, it's highest settlement since Nov 5th, after earlier hitting an intra-day high of $65.44/barrel.

The Energy Information Administration said that for the week to May 22, US crude oil inventories fell 5.4 million barrels to 363.1 million barrels, sharply lower that the 700,000-barrel decrease traders had been expecting.

The sharp reduction was particularly surprising given that US refineries increase their operations to 85.1% of capacity from 81.8% a week ago.

Adding to the strength in crude were comments from various OPEC ministers that demand for oil was increasing and that the global economy was now capable of standing crude prices of $75-80/barrel.

OPEC ministers, as expected, decided to leave output quotas unchanged at their meeting in Vienna.