Oil futures pared gains Wednesday after data showed an unexpected rise in U.S. crude inventories last week. The Energy Information Administration said inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels.
Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a 200,000 barrel decline, while reports said the American Petroleum Institute’s weekly tally late Tuesday showed a 1.8 million barrel decline. West Texas Intermediate crude futures for May delivery CLK7, +0.61% on the New York Mercantile Exchange were up 38 cents at $51.41 a barrel but had traded above $51.70 ahead of the data.
Gasoline inventories fell by around 600,000 barrels, the EIA said, versus expectations for a fall of 1.6 million barrels. Distillate stocks, which include diesel fuel and heating oil, fell by 500,000 barrels, the EIA said, versus forecasts for a decline of 700,000 barrels.