Reuters: Oil edges higher on U.S. inventory decline, escalating Mideast tensions
Oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, extending gains as rising tensions with Iran fueled concerns about supply disruptions and as U.S. inventory data showed a much bigger than expected drop in crude stockpiles.
Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 20 cents, or 0.3%, at $64.03 a barrel by 0300 GMT, after rising nearly 1% on Tuesday, Reuters said.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude CLc1 were up 23 cents, or 0.4%, at $57.00 a barrel, having risen about 1% in the previous session.
U.S. crude stocks fell more than expected in the week to July 19, declining by 11 million barrels to 449 million, the trade group American Petroleum Institute said on Tuesday.
That compared with analysts' expectations of a decrease of 4 million barrels.
Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub fell by 448,000 barrels, although gasoline stocks rose by 4.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 730,000-barrel decline.
The U.S. government's official figures are due Wednesday morning.
The potential for renewed Sino-U.S. trade talks also helped bolster prices, analysts said.