February crude oil prices grinded higher during the early morning hours, supported by supply disruption concerns in Iran and Nigeria as well as improving recovery prospects in the US. Global equity markets were also on a higher track in front of this morning's US Non-Farm Payroll report. Supply disruption fears remain a source of support for the crude oil market, as Iran has announced more naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz for February. The Nigerian situation continues to percolate, with a potential workers' strike coming next week and a force majeure on Bonny Light crude oil exports yesterday. Yesterday's EIA inventory data showed an unexpected build of 2.209 million barrels. This build brought current inventory levels to 5.577 million barrels below year ago levels but 12.579 million above the five year average. Crude oil imports for the week stood at 9.024 million barrels per day compared to 8.990 million barrels the previous week. The refinery operating rate was up 0.8% on the week to 85.0%, compared to 88.0% last year and the five year average of 87.04%.