Oil prices were higher on Wednesday after government data showed a bigger-than-expected drop in gasoline inventories and falling weekly U.S. crude output.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Wednesday's session up 50 cents, or 1.1 percent, at $44.74 per barrel. Brent crude futures were up 69 cents, or 1.5 percent, at $47.34 per barrel at 2:35 p.m. ET (1835 GMT), close to their last close.
Crude inventories rose by 118,000 barrels in the week to June 23 as refineries cut output.That compared with analyst expectations for an decrease of 2.6 million barrels.
A report by the American Petroleum Institute on Tuesday had suggested inventories rose by 851,000 barrels, which prepared traders for a possible surprise increase.
Meanwhile, gasoline stocks fell by 894,000 barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 583,000-barrel drop, EIA said.
Despite the drop in gasoline stockpiles, implied demand for gasoline fell by 278,000 barrels a day last week, continuing a streak of weak consumption.