Oil prices rose for the second day on Thursday, after EIA data showed US crude inventories fell in the week to December 18th to 499.53 million barrels, while gasoline stocks dropped to 237.75 million barrels, and distillate stocks were down to 148.93 million.
News that Britain and the EU were on the verge of striking a narrow trade deal also lifted sentiment.
Meantime, at least four drugmakers expect their COVID-19 vaccines will be effective against the new fast-spreading variant of the virus found in Britain.
On the supply side, US energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a fifth week in a row. Limiting the rise was an indication that US President Trump might block a $900 billion coronavirus relief aid as he believed Americans deserve bigger stimulus checks.
At around 06:45 AM GMT, WTI crude rose 0.3% to $48.24 a barrel. Brent crude was also up 0.3% to $51.37 a barrel.