Oil prices jumped as much as 3 percent on Wednesday, with U.S. crude hitting 15-month highs after the government reported a surprisingly large drop in domestic inventories for the sixth week out of seven.
Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 89 cents, or 1.7 percent, at $52.57 a barrel by 2:38 p.m. ET (1838 GMT), having earlier risen as high as $53.14.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures settled up $1.31, or 2.6 percent, at $51.60 a barrel, the best settle since July 14, 2015. They touched $51.93 at the peak of the session, the highest level since July 16, 2015, when WTI hit $52.17.
The November contract expires at the end of trading on Thursday. The December contract breached the $52 level during trade on Wednesday.
U.S. commercial crude inventories fell by 5.2 million barrels to a total of 468.7 million barrels in the week through Oct. 14, the Energy Information Administration reported. Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the EIA to report a crude build of 2.7 million barrels.