Oil prices posted a gain on Thursday, but a rally underwritten by U.S. data showing a big drop in crude oil and gasoline stocks faded in afternoon trade.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures ended Thursday's session 39 cents, or 0.9 percent, higher at $45.52 per barrel, off a session high of $46.53. The contract plunged about 4 percent in the previous session.
Brent crude futures were up 10 cents at $47.89 per barrel by 2:42 p.m. ET (1842 GMT), after earlier rising to $49.18. They tumbled 3.7 percent on Wednesday.
U.S. crude stocks fell 6.3 million barrels, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, citing stronger refining activity and reduced imports. That was much more than the draw of about 2.3 million barrels analysts had forecast.
"Inventories were better than the market anticipated and were seeing gains in crude and products futures as a result," said Andrew Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.