Oil holds steady as US output rises after freeze, China eases COVID restrictions

Storage tanks are seen at the Marathon Petroleum Refinery, which processes domestic and imported crude oil into California Air Assets Board

CARB diesel gas and other petroleum products, in Carson, California, USA. USA, March 11, 2022. Photo recital for BUZZ REUTERS/Bing Guan/Photo Report

HOUSTON, Dec 27 (Reuters) - Oil prices have held steady after hitting a three-week high on Tuesday as restarts at some U.S. 

Brent crude was up 41 cents, or 0.5 percent, at $84.33 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude was down three cents at $79.53 a barrel.

Both benchmarks hit their highest level since Dec. 5 early in the session. The UK and US markets have been closed on Monday for the Christmas holidays.

Refineries along the Gulf Coast began to resume operations and ramp up production after an arctic explosion sent freezing temperatures 

The cold also reduced oil and gasoline production from North Dakota to Texas.

Production of around 450,000-500,000 barrels of oil per day was cut over Christmas weekend at the Bakken oil fields, the North Dakota

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