Oil prices picked up this afternoon after data from the US showed crude stocks had tumbled by over 14m barrels last week.
Global benchmark Brent crude was up 1.1 per cent to $48.51 and US benchmark rose 1.27 per cent to $46.08.
The US Energy Information Administration released (EIA) data today showing that US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 14.5m barrels last week, compared with the previous week – a much bigger draw than was expected.
Despite this decline, US crude oil inventories are at historically high levels for this time of year, according to the EIA.
US crude oil refinery inputs averaged over 16.9m barrels per day during the week ending 2 September, 315,000 barrels per day more than the previous week’s average. Refineries operated at 93.7 per cent of their operable capacity last week.
Meanwhile, gasoline production increased last week, averaging about 10.2m barrels per day
US crude oil imports averaged about 7.1m barrels per day last week, down by 1.8m barrels per day from the previous week. Over the last four weeks, crude oil imports averaged 8.2m barrels per day, 7.4 per cent above the same four-week period last year.
Earlier this week, oil prices soared on hopes for an output freeze, despite a statement from Russia and Saudi Arabia that showed the two major producers would be taking a softly-softly approach instead of the stronger action that many hoped for.