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 10.8 million barrels, or 2.4%, to 445 million barrels for the week ending July 19, the EIA data showed. However, the market expectation was a decline of 4 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 $64.64 on Wednesday after opening the day at $64.06. Brent was trading at $63.32 per barrel at 0619 GMT on Thursday.
American benchmark West Texas Intermediate (WTI) reached $57.48 on Wednesday, up from starting the day at $57.02. WTI was at $55.92 a barrel on Thursday at 0619 GMT.
Oil prices lost their initial high after experts said the larger-than-expected draw in crude inventories might have been caused by disruptions resulting from the tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
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 0.2 million barrels, or 0.1%, to 232.5 million barrels over that period. The previous week saw gasoline inventories rise by 3.6 million barrels.
Crude oil production in the country decreased by 700,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 11.3 million bpd for the week ending July 19.
By Zeynep Beyza Kilic