U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks fell by 8.5 million barrels, or 1.9%, to 436.5 million barrels for the week ending July 26, the EIA data showed. However, the market expectation was a decline of 2.6 million barrels.
The higher-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles pushed oil prices higher on Wednesday.
International benchmark Brent crude increased to as high as $65.59 on Wednesday after opening the day at $65.13. Brent was trading at $64.52 per barrel at 0528 GMT on Thursday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $58.74 on Wednesday, up from starting the day at $58.24. WTI was at $57.78 a barrel on Thursday at 0528 GMT.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 644.8 million barrels last week, according to the data.
Meanwhile, gasoline inventories dropped by 1.8 million barrels, or 0.8%, to 230.7 million barrels over that period. The previous week saw gasoline inventories fall by 0.2 million barrels.
Crude oil production in the country increased by 900,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12.20 million bpd for the week ending July 26.
By Gulsen Cagatay