Striking Kuwaiti oil workers significantly disrupted oil production, temporarily halting production of about the same amount of crude that the world is oversupplying each day.
The three-day strike was ended Tuesday evening, according to a Reuters report. While analysts had expected a quick end to the strike, they say it does send a message to other producing nations that have implemented austerity as a result of falling oil prices.
The unanticipated strike in Kuwait took about 1.5 million barrels out of daily production, according to reports. Workers went on strike because of pay and benefit cuts. The world overproduces upward of 1.5 million barrels a day.
"It shows things can shift fast ... there was a working assumption on Friday that no production would be offline," said Helima Croft, global head of commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
West Texas Intermediate futures for May gained 3.3 percent on Wednesday to settle at $41.08 per barrel. June futures were up 3.1 percent, to $42.47 per barrel. May futures expire Wednesday.