Oil prices were up as much as 3 percent on Wednesday after a surprise drop in crude stockpiles reported by the U.S. government, marking a third weekly decline in the closely watched data.
Prices were slightly higher after the Federal Reserve said it would leave interest rates unchanged. The dollar fell after the announcement, making dollar-denominated commodities, such as crude oil, more affordable to holders of other currencies.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said domestic crude inventories fell by 6.2 million barrels for the week ended Sept. 16, versus a 3.4 million-barrel drop forecast by oil market analysts polled by Reuters.
Crude stocks in the world's largest oil consumer have fallen since this month began. Some 14.5 million barrels were reported drawn for the week ended Sept. 2, the biggest weekly drop in 15 years after a tropical storm that slowed the arrival of oil imports in the U.S. Gulf Coast. In the subsequent week to Sept. 9, there was another decline of 559,000 barrels.