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 3.1 million barrels, or 0.7%, to 455.9 million barrels for the week ending July 12, the EIA data showed. However, the market expectation was a decline of 2.69 million barrels.
The higher-than-expected drop in U.S. stockpiles pushed oil prices higher on Thursday. International benchmark Brent crude was trading at $63.86 per barrel at 0606 GMT on Thursday with a 0.18% gain after it ended Wednesday at $63.74 a barrel.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate was at $56.70 a barrel on Thursday at the same time for a 0.12% rise after closing the previous session at $56.63 per barrel.
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 increased by 3.6 million barrels, or 1.6%, to 232.8 million barrels over that period. The previous week saw gasoline inventories decline by 1.5 million barrels.
Crude oil production in the country decreased by 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 12 million bpd for the week ending July 12.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic