U.S. oil futures went up almost 1 percent on Thursday following data released by an industry group showing a drop in U.S. crude stocks as imports went down, supporting the thought that a global oversupply is about to end.
April contracts for the U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude gained 0.8 percent or 41 cents to $54.00 per barrel at 0011 GMT.
Brent crude, the benchmark crude to gauge oi prices, was yet to trade. Brent closed lower at 1.5 percent or 82 cents at $55.84 a barrel on Wednesday.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Wednesday that crude inventories declined by 884,000 barrels in the week to February 12 to 512.7 million compared with the expectations of analysts for an increase of 3.5 million barrels.
According to the American Petroleum Institute, crude stocks over at Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub were short by 1.7 million barrels and the United States crude imports went down last week by 1.5 million barrels per day to 7.398 million barrels per day.
Data reveals that refinery crude runs went down by 182,000 barrels per day, while gasoline stocks fell by 893,000 barrels, largely in line with analysts’ expectations in a poll by Reuters.
Official data from the United States Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) is set to be released at 11 a.m. EST (1600 GMT) on Thursday, a day later than normal due to the Presidents Holiday on Monday.