U.S. crude oil prices rose by more than $1 a barrel on Wednesday after a government report showed an unexpected sharp drop in inventories in the United States.
Brent crude rose gradually over the session, taking support the strength in U.S. oil prices, as well as tensions in Libya where rebels continue to delay the government's plan for more oil exports.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels nationally last week as imports fell, including a 1.4 million barrel drop at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery point of the U.S. futures contract. The EIA numbers largely confirmed Tuesday's industry report from the American Petroleum Institute.
U.S. crude rose by $1.27 to settle at $100.77 a barrel, on course for its biggest one-day gain since early April.Brent crude for June delivery tracked West Texas Intermediate higher, rising more than $1 above $108 a barrel, off an earlier high of $107.60, pressured after Russia called for separatists in the east of Ukraine to postpone an independence referendum.