Shafaq News / Oil prices jumped more than 3 percent on Wednesday after reports that scientists had found an effective drug to treat the rapidly spreading Corona virus in China, which has damaged the world's second largest economy in recent weeks.
Brent crude futures rose $ 1.76, or 3.2 percent, to $ 55.72 a barrel by 0919 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures increased $ 1.34, or 2.6 percent, to $ 50.93 a barrel.
The Zhangjiang Daily newspaper reported on Tuesday that a research team at Zhangjiang University had found two new drugs that could effectively "tackle the Corona virus".
Separately, Sky News quoted researchers at Imperial College in London as saying that they had made significant progress in developing a vaccine for Coronavirus, although the report said it was too late for this current outbreak.
The outbreak has caused a travel ban to many parts of China and deep cuts in production by local oil refineries.
Analysts estimate that the virus may reduce global oil demand by 0.5 percent this year.
At Tuesday's meeting, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by Russia, the group known as OPEC +, listened to a Chinese envoy to the United Nations in Vienna to assess the impact of the Corona Virus outbreak on global oil demand and economic growth.
Producers are considering further cuts to production and offering a meeting scheduled in March to February.
The weekly report of the US Energy Information Administration is scheduled to be released later on Wednesday.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday that US crude inventories rose by 4.2 million barrels to 432.9 million in the week ending January 31. The figure is higher than analysts' expectations for an increase of 2.8 million barrels.