NEW YORK, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Oil prices advanced on Friday amid concerns over tightening supplies.
The West Texas Intermediate for September delivery added 16 cents to settle at 72.07 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude for September delivery increased 31 cents to close at 74.10 dollars a barrel on the London ICE Futures Exchange.
"The supply situation remains tight," Eugen Weinberg, energy analyst at Commerzbank Research, said in a note on Friday, adding "the OPEC+ agreement on its future production strategy will if anything lend support to prices, at least in the short to medium term."
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, known as OPEC+, agreed to boost supply by 400,000 barrels per day from August through December.
Traders also digested a mixed U.S. fuel inventory report.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday that the nation's crude oil inventories increased by 2.1 million barrels during the week ending July 16. The EIA publications also showed crude stocks at Cushing, Oklahoma, a key U.S. oil hub, dropped by 1.4 million barrels.
Meanwhile, total motor gasoline inventories fell 0.1 million barrels last week and distillate fuel inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels, according to the EIA.
For the week, the U.S. crude benchmark and Brent both climbed 0.7 percent, based on the front-month contracts.