Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday on expectations of a recovery in fuel demand as China continues to ease its COVID-19 restrictions, the Reuters news agency reports.
The recession concerns and restarts at some U.S. energy plants shut by winter storms weighed on oil price gains, according to the report.
Brent futures for February delivery increased 9 cents, or 0.1%, to $84.42 a barrel. U.S. crude advanced 10 cents, or 0.1%, to $79.63 per barrel. Because of the optimistic market mood, both futures hit their highest level in three weeks on Tuesday.
The hopes for a boost to demand for fuel in top crude oil importer China come as the world's second-biggest economy moves towards reopening its borders next month after three years of strict curbs on movement and businesses to counter the spread of COVID-19.
Oil refineries in the US on Tuesday were working to resume operations at a dozen plants knocked offline by the deep freeze. These recoveries in some cases will stretch into January.
A winter storm in the US that send temperatures well below zero also cut oil and gas production from North Dakota and Texas fields.