Oil prices fell on Wednesday after the U.S. government reported an unexpected increase in crude and gasoline stocks, but an increase in refining runs and a dropoff in distillate stocks helped prices bounce off session lows.
Prices remained under pressure from this week's International Energy Agency (IEA) outlook for slower growth in global crude demand.
While the crude build of 1.9 million barrels reported by the Energy Information Administration was more than forecast, it was not as big as the increase of 6.5 million barrels reported Tuesday by industry group the American Petroleum Institute. The EIA data encouraged buying at session lows.
"Overall, the report is somewhat supportive because it was not as bearish as the previous API report last night. That is why we are slowly digging our way out of the downside seen earlier this morning," said Phil Flynn, senior energy analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.