Investing.com - Crude prices were higher on Thursday after data showed a sizable decline in U.S. oil stockpiles last week.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures gained 37 cents, or 0.7%, to $62.08 a barrel by 11:03AM ET (1603GMT). Prices were at around $61.60 prior to the release of the inventory data.
Meanwhile, Brent crude futures, the benchmark for oil prices outside the U.S., added 30 cents, or roughly 0.5%, to $61.98 a barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said in its weekly report that crude oil inventories fell by 1.6 million barrels in the week ended Feb. 16.
That compared with analysts' expectations for a gain of around 1.8 million barrels, while the American Petroleum Institute late Tuesday reported a supply-drop of around 0.9 million barrels.
Supplies at Cushing, Oklahoma, the key delivery point for Nymex crude, decreased by 2.6 million barrels last week, the EIA said.
Total U.S. crude oil inventories stood at 420.5 million barrels as of last week, which the EIA considered to be in the lower half of the average range for this time of year.
The report also showed that gasoline inventories increased by 0.3 million barrels, compared to expectations for a decline of 0.3 million barrels. For distillate inventories including diesel, the EIA reported a drop of 2.4 million barrels.
The data came out one day later than usual due to Monday's Presidents' Day holiday.
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