Crude oil prices moved higher on Wednesday, lifted by data showing a larger-than-expected drop in U.S. crude inventories last week.
The data showing a bigger drop in stockpiles has raised optimism that supplies will remain tight despite the production hikes set by OPEC+.
Still, concerns about outlook for energy demand due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus limited oil's uptick.
West Texas Intermediate Crude oil futures for September ended up by $0.74 or about 1% at $72.39 a barrel.
Brent crude futures were up $0.34 or nearly 0.5% at $73.86 a barrel a little while ago.
Data released by Energy Information Administration (EIA) this morning showed crude inventories in the U.S. fell by 4.089 million barrels last week, over a million barrels up from an expected drop of about 2.9 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories dropped by 2.253 million barrels last week, more than twice the expected draw, the data showed. Meanwhile, distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.088 million barrels, much more than an expected drop of 435,000 barrels.
A report released by the American Petroleum Institute (API) on Tuesday showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 4.7 million barrels for the week ended July 23, compared with analysts' expectations for a 2.9 million fall in crude stocks, following a surprise rise in crude inventories the previous week.