Inventories of crude oil in the U.S. declined higher than market expectations on Wednesday and pushed oil prices higher in the global markets.
Weekly crude stocks fell 5.2 million barrels, or 1 percent, to 522.5 million barrels for the week ending May 5, the U.S.' Energy Information Administration (EIA) announced Wednesday.
The market expectation was only a decrease in inventories of 1.8 million barrels during that period.
Decline in crude stocks, coupled with a weak U.S. dollar, pushed oil prices up more than 3 percent.
The American benchmark climbed as high as $47.77 per barrel, while international benchmark rose as much as $50.63 a barrel on Wednesday.
"A slump in net imports last week contributed to the decline in crude oil inventories," Joseph Oyegoke, a commodities economist at London-based Capital Economics, said in a note.
The U.S.' crude oil imports fell 644,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 7.62 million bpd for the week ending May 5, the EIA data showed.
Domestic oil production, however, increased 21,000 bpd to 9.31 million bpd -- marking the 12th consecutive weekly increase.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York