Oil rises 1%, settling at $45.49, after bigger-than-expected drop in US crude stockpiles
Oil price gains eased on Wednesday after government data showed U.S. crude stocks plunged more than expected last week as imports declined and drillers continued to pump more.
Crude inventories fell by 7.6 million barrels in the last week, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 2.9 million barrels.
U.S. crude ended Wednesday's session up 45 cents, or 1 percent, at $45.49. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 22 cents at $47.74 a barrel by 2:38 p.m. ET (1838 GMT).
Gasoline stocks fell by 1.6 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.1 million barrels gain. Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.1 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.1 million barrels increase, the EIA data showed.
U.S. oil production ticked up by 59,000 barrels a day to nearly 9.4 million barrels a day.
--News from www.cnbc.com
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