Oil prices were mixed in choppy trade on Wednesday, after government data showed a surge in weekly U.S. crude stockpiles that was partly offset by a drop in the nation's inventories of refined fuel.
A drop in U.S. equity indexes also weakened sentiment in crude prices.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 34 cents lower at $56.22 per barrel, off a session low at $55.42. International Brent crude futures up 11 cents at $65.97 per barrel around 2:30 p.m. ET.
U.S. crude inventories rose by 7.1 million barrels in the week ending March 1, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported. That compared with analysts' expectations for a modest increase of 1.2 million barrels in a Reuters poll.