Brent crude hits $52 per barrel for first time since October

Militants patrols the creeks of the volatile Niger Delta in Nigeria. © George Esiri
North Sea crude benchmark Brent is nearing an eight-month high above $52 per barrel on Wednesday, propped up by a weaker dollar and falling output in Nigeria due to increased militant activity.

Nigeria's Bonny Light oil production is down by about 170,000 barrels per day (bpd) following attacks on pipelines, according to Reuters.

In Nigeria, a group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers has threatened on its supposed Twitter account to cut the country’s production to zero.

The radicals have recently been bombing pipelines in the country.

"With Brent staying above $50, oil is on an upward momentum with the restart of French refineries that were shut on strikes and pipeline attacks in Nigeria," Kaname Gokon at brokerage Okato Shoji in Tokyo told Reuters.

US crude benchmark West Texas Intermediate was trading above $51 on Wednesday, the highest level in ten months.

According to a survey by the media, US stockpiles fell by 3.5 million barrels last week, marking a third weekly decline in a row. Official data from the American Petroleum Institute is expected at 8:30pm GMT.

READ MORE: Shame on Shell: Ecocide by oil extraction in the Niger Delta

Since reaching 12-year lows of $27 per barrel in January, oil prices have nearly doubled. However they are still well below the 2014 peak of over $100 per barrel.