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Oil prices rise on declining Cushing inventories

Oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, lifted by a new decline in US oil inventories at the key Cushing storage hub and falling gasoline stockpiles

NEW YORK: Oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, lifted by a new decline in US oil inventories at the key Cushing storage hub and falling gasoline stockpiles.

The New York benchmark West Texas Intermediate for June delivery rose 67 cents to $102.37 a barrel, the highest closing price since April 21.

In London, Brent oil for June delivery added 95 cents to settle at $110.19 a barrel.

Prices gained a boost from the US Department of Energy's weekly oil inventories report. Traders shrugged off a 900,000-barrel increase in overall crude oil stockpiles and focused on drawdowns at the Cushing, Oklahoma, terminal and in gasoline stores.

Another drop at Cushing and a "nice draw in gasoline reserves" are good signs for demand, said Gene McGillian of Tradition Energy.

Crude prices were also still benefiting from hints that the Obama administration is seriously considering lifting the ban on US oil exports, according to Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group.

Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz told reporters in South Korea early on Tuesday that the US is reviewing its longstanding ban on exports, though without saying what options were being weighed.

Ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine kept prices supported Wednesday as traders worried that an escalating conflict could disrupt oil supplies.

"The broader international supply situation looks little-changed, with tension over still-flowing Russian oil supplies and only a slight uptick in Libyan output today," said Tim Evans of Citi Futures.

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