Oil prices, which were surging Wednesday on reports of an OPEC production deal, continued to climb as U.S. crude inventories decreased last week.
West Texas Intermediate crude prices for delivery in January were up about 7.4% to $48.57 a barrel, while global benchmark Brent crude oil was gaining nearly 8% to $50.07.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported Wednesday that crude inventories decreased by 900,000 barrels for the week ended Nov. 25, putting inventories at 488.1 million barrels.
“At 488.1 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are near the upper limit of the average range for this time of year,” the EIA said in a statement.
Crude oil imports declined to 7.5 million barrels per day last week, and over the past month imports averaged 7.7 million barrels per day, which represents a 5.3% rise from the same period last year.
Refinery inputs dropped by 114,000 barrels per day to 16.3 million barrels per day last week. Refineries operated at 89.8% of their operable capacity last week, the EIA said.
Gasoline inventories rose by 2.1 million barrels last week, and are also well above the upper limit of the average range.
While the report further bolstered the rise in oil prices, news of an OPEC production cut agreement was the catalyst for the jump in prices, which were up by as much as 8% on Wednesday.