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Oil climbs to six-week high, OPEC report eyed

Oil climbs to six week high, OPEC report eyed

Oil prices reached the highest level in six weeks on Thursday as oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico were evacuated before a storm, ahead of release of OPEC's monthly production report.

As of 08:41 GMT, Brent crude futures rose 0.6 percent to $67.64 a barrel, the highest since May 30, following an increase of 4.4 percent over the previous two sessions.

Western Texas crude contracts have climbed 40 cents or 0.65 percent to $60.82 a barrel, having earlier touched the highest level since May 23 at $60.83.  

US oil producers stopped about one-third of the oil production in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday before it could be one of the first major storms of the Atlantic hurricane season.

The US Energy Information management data showed yesterday a significant drop in stocks during the week through July 5, as inventories slipped by 9.5 million barrels. Yet, on the US production in the same period increased by 100,000 barrels per day to 12.300 million barrels per day.

In addition, a US defense official said on Thursday five boats believed to be affiliated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard approached a British tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday, asking them to stop in nearby Iranian waters, but withdrew after warning of a British warship.

Tensions are raging in the Middle East after attacks on tankers and Iran's downing of a US drone last month.

As of 11:10 GMT, OPEC will release its July Monthly Oil Market Report, which will give an update about the production levels of each country.

The report is very important as it comes after the agreement of OPEC+ members to extend their production cut agreement until March 31.

The U.S. dollar index resumed its drop from three-week high hit on Tuesday to trade at 96.55 after hitting a bottom at 96.44.

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