- US commercial crude inventories decline for the first time in 4 months.
- WTI trades above $60 a barrel for the first time since December.
- Brent crude trades near $70 a barrel.
US crude stockpiles declined last week for the first time in four months, helping to lift oil prices to new 2015 highs amid signs that the supply glut was slowly subsiding.
US commercial crude inventories declined by 3.9 million barrels to 487 million barrels in the week ended May 1, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported on Wednesday. That was the first drop in four months and well below expectations calling for a gain of 1.5 million. Stockpiles had increased by 1.9 million the week before.
Year-on-year, inventories remained at their highest level in at least 80 years. However, the report is a clear departure from the relentless surge in inventory levels over the past several months.
Oil prices rallied on Wednesday, with US crude hitting a high of $62.50 a barrel. That was the first time West Texas Intermediate (WTI) had crossed $60 a barrel since December. WTI crude for June delivery was trading at $60.79 a barrel at 13:45 ET.
Global benchmark Brent crude reached a new 2015 peak of $69.93. It would later trade at $67.81 a barrel.
WTI has posted gains every week since March 13, while Brent has posted four consecutive weekly gains.