Oil prices eased on Wednesday on bearish U.S. petroleum inventory data and doubts that production cuts promised by OPEC and Russia would be deep enough to end a supply overhang that has weighed on markets for more than two years.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration EIA said crude inventories fell 2.4 million barrels during the week ended Dec. 2, which was more than the 1 million-barrel draw analysts forecast in a Reuters poll.
Stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for U.S. crude futures, however, increased by a hefty 3.8 million barrels last week, the most since 2009, the data showed.
Gasoline stocks rose by 3.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.9 million-barrel gain. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, were up by 2.5 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel increase, the EIA data showed.