Oil prices rose on Wednesday after U.S. government data showed a decline in domestic crude inventories and strong refining activity in the world's largest oil consumer, ahead of next week's meeting of major oil producers.
The Energy Information Administration said U.S. crude stocks declined for the sixth straight week. Gasoline and distillate inventories also declined.
U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels for the week to May 12, less than the of 2.4 million barrels that had been forecast. But news of a draw lifted prices that had slumped in late trading on Tuesday the American Petroleum Institute had reported a build in crude stocks for the week.
"The crude oil drawdown disappointed some, but the fairly large rise in refinery utilization bodes well for crude oil demand in the coming weeks," said John Kilduff, partner at energy hedge fund Again Capital LLC in New York.