U.S. crude prices closed higher after a choppy trading session on Wednesday as data showing record U.S. crude stocks was offset by evidence that production in an oversupplied market continues to decline.
The Energy Information Administration reported crude inventories rose by 10.4 million barrels to a total of 518 million barrels. The build was almost three times more than the 3.6 million-barrel increase expected by analysts.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday U.S. crude inventories jumped by 9.9 million barrels last week, much more than the 3.6-million-barrel increase analysts had forecast.
But the drop in production to levels not seen since late 2014 gave bulls hope, Dow Jones reported.
EIA reported U.S. oil production fell last week by about 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) to just over 9 million bpd, down from a peak of 9.6 million bpd in April. More reliable monthly figures from EIA put U.S. crude production at 9.2 million bpd in December.