Oil prices rose more than 3 percent on Wednesday after government data showed a larger-than-anticipated drop in U.S. crude inventories as the nation's imports fell and refineries continued to run near full capacity.
U.S. crude ended Wednesday's session at a two-week high, jumping $2.02, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $67.87. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose $2.15, or 3 percent, to $74.78 a barrel by 2:29 p.m. ET.
U.S. crude inventories fell 5.8 million barrels last week, the Energy Information Administration said, exceeding the 1.5 million-barrel draw forecast by analysts polled by Reuters.
Refinery crude runs slipped 89,000 barrels per day from the previous week's record high to 17.9 million bpd, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates remained unchanged last week at 98.1 percent of total capacity, the highest rates since 1999.
"As refinery runs continue to kick around close to a record high - easing just 89,000 bpd last week - and as imports have dropped off on the prior week, crude inventories have shown a solid draw, particularly on the U.S. Gulf Coast," said Matt Smith, director of commodities research at ClipperData.