OIL GAINS ON SUPPLY DISRUPTIONS

Oil prices rose Wednesday on the back of supply restrictions in North America and falling U.S. inventories, write The Wall Street Journal’s David Hodari and Kevin Kingsbury.

Brent crude oil, the global benchmark was up 0.88%, at $63.11 a barrel in London. On the New York Mercantile Exchange, West Texas Intermediate futures were trading near two-and-a-half-year highs, up 1.65% at $57.78 a barrel.

“The market’s focus on the OPEC meeting [on Nov. 30] has been temporarily disrupted, with prices supported by the continued outage of a pipeline from Canada to the U.S.,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at SaxoBank. “That combined with the big draw report from the (American Petroleum Institute) data has resulted in WTI being the outperformer for a change,” he added.

Major U.S. markets will be closed on Thursday.

COMMODITY BULLS IGNORING A FEW LARGE ELEPHANTS

Nathaniel Taplin unpacks the reasons why commodity markets get overheated and why oil inventories, are starting to creep up again.

ANALYSTS SEE 50 BILLION-CUBIC FEET DRAIN FROM U.S. NATURAL-GAS INVENTORIES

Meanwhile, analysts expect government natural-gas data scheduled for release Wednesday to show stockpiles declined by more than usual for this time of year, writes Stephanie Yang for the Dow Jones Newswires.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration is expected to report storage levels shrank by 50 billion cubic feet of gas during the week ended Nov. 17, according to the average forecast of 13 analysts, brokers and traders surveyed by the Journal.

VENEZUELA DETAINS CITGO EXECUTIVES FOR ALLEGED CORRUPTION

Elsewhere, Venezuela’s intelligence agency arrested six top executives at the U.S.subsidiary of state-oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA, as part of what authorities are calling an anticorruption “crusade,” reports Anatoly Kurmanaev.

“Attorney General Tarek Saab said the acting president and five board members of the subsidiary, Houston-based Citgo Petroleum Corp, tried to defraud the nation through a planned $4 billion financing deal with three little-known foreign investment funds. The executives were detained on Tuesday in the capital, Caracas, where Citgo was holding an internal company event,” writes Mr. Kurmanaev.

It wasn’t clear whether charges had been filed.

Citgo is one of PdVSA’s most profitable subsidiaries, operating three refineries in the U.S. and licensing about 1,500 gas-station franchises throughout the country.