Oil prices increased as U.S. crude oil inventories declined for the first time since the week ending January 2. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its crude oil inventories data on Wednesday. U.S. crude inventories declined by 3.9 million barrels to 487.03 million in the week to May 1. Analysts had expected a rise of 1.5 million barrels.
U.S. crude oil imports dropped by 905,000 barrels per day to 6.07 million barrels per day. It was the lowest level since 2001.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, decreased by 12,000 barrels, according to the EIA.
Concerns over a disruption to crude oil exports from Libya still supported oil prices. Protests have stopped crude oil flows to an eastern Libyan port Zueitina. The port Zueitina has capacity to export up to 70,000 barrels a day.
WTI crude oil for June delivery rose to $60.99 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude oil for June climbed to $67.85 a barrel on ICE Futures Europe.