Oil rises two percent as Saudi Arabia aims at $100/bbl, U.S. stockpiles fall

Oil futures jumped more than 2 percent on Wednesday on a decline in U.S. crude inventories and after sources signaled top exporter Saudi Arabia wants to see the crude price closer to $100 a barrel.

OPEC’s new price hawk Saudi Arabia would be happy for crude to rise to $80 or even $100, three industry sources said, a sign Riyadh will seek no changes to a supply-cutting deal even though the agreement’s original target is within sight.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up $1.54 at $73.12 by 11:14 a.m [1514 GMT], while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures CLc1 gained $1.63 to $68.15, having hit $68.45 earlier in the session, their highest since late 2014.

Prices were supported as U.S. oil stockpiles fell across the board last week with gasoline and distillates drawing down more than expected on stronger demand, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. [EIA/S]

Crude inventories dropped by 1.1 million barrels as a result of a decline of 1.3 million barrels per day in net crude imports.