Oil held onto a rally as U.S.-imposed sanctions on Saudi Arabia outweighed an inventory report showing a jump in crude stockpiles.

Futures in New York rose as much as 1.8 per cent on Thursday. The U.S. announced sanctions against 17 Saudi officials over the death of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding some geopolitical risk to the market. Meanwhile, the Energy Information Administration reported domestic crude inventories rose by the most since February 2017 last week, while fuel supplies declined.

West Texas Intermediate for December delivery advanced 93 cents to US$57.18 a barrel at 11:08 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Total volume traded Thursday was about 16 per cent above the 100-day average.

Brent for January settlement climbed US$1.18 to US$67.30 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange. The global benchmark crude was at a US$9.92 premium to WTI for the same month.