Crude oil prices moved up sharply on Wednesday as concerns over the likely impact of last week's severe cold conditions on the refinery activity in Texas outweighed official data showing an increase in U.S. crude inventories.
The oil market also shrugged off a report saying that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies, collectively known as OPEC+, will likely consider increasing crude production by 500,000 barrels per day from April. The OPEC+ meeting is scheduled to take place next week.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for April ended up $1.55 or about 2.5% at $63.22 a barrel, the highest settlement since early January 2020.
Data released by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed U.S. crude stockpiles increased by 1.3 million barrels in the week ended February 19, beating expectations for a drop of nearly 5 million barrels.
The EIA data also said gasoline supply did not see much change last week, while distillate stockpiles dropped by about 5 million barrels in the week.
The American Petroleum Institute's report, released late Tuesday, said crude inventories rose by 1.026 million barrels last week, against estimates for a draw of 5.2 million barrels.