Oil prices fell more than 3 percent after government data showed that U.S. crude stockpiles unexpectedly rose in the last week, though not by as much as an earlier industry report indicated.
Inventories of U.S. commercial crude jumped by 2.6 million barrels in the week through Dec. 25, according to the Energy Information Administration.
A Reuters poll of nine analysts estimated that crude stocks fell 2.5 million barrels. The American Petroleum Institute, an industry group, on Tuesday reported a 2.9 million barrel build-up in U.S. stocks.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub increased by 892,000 barrels to a record, EIA said.
Gasoline stocks rose by 925,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 896,000-barrel gain. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, were up by 1.8 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.0 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.