U.S. crude oil inventories fell more than expected last week, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Commercial crude oil stocks decreased by 4.8 million barrels, or 1.1%, to 423 million barrels for the week ending August 30, the EIA data showed. However, the market expectation was a decline of 2.5 million barrels.
The more than expected drop in U.S. stockpiles pushed oil prices higher on Thursday and settled lower on Friday.
International benchmark Brent crude rose to as high as $62.78 on Thursday after opening the day at $60.93. American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached to $57.69 on Thursday, up from starting the day at $55.96.
On Friday, prices continued their positive track supported by news that China and the U.S. would hold a ministerial level meeting in the coming weeks to discuss trade.
Brent was trading at $61.36 per barrel at 0637 GMT and WTI was at $56.31 a barrel on Friday morning.
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 to 229.6 million barrels, down by 2.4 million barrels, or 1% for the week ending August 30. The previous week saw gasoline inventories fall by 2.1 million barrels.
Crude oil production in the country decreased by 146,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12.4 million bpd for the week ending August 30.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic