US crude stockpiles sharply declined last week as refineries increased their output, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed late Tuesday. Crude supplies fell by 10.20 million barrels during the week ended July 21st to 487.00 million. The official supply figures from the US Energy Information Administration will be released later on Wednesday. Analysts surveyed by S&P Global Platts have forecast a drop of 2.50 million barrels in crude inventories. Investor optimism received an added boost after Saudi Arabia announced it would be limiting its crude exports to 6.60 million barrels a day in August, down almost 1.00 million barrels a day from the same period last year. Oil prices have been rallying ever since, climbing 2.50% in the past couple of sessions. Market sentiment has turned decisively bullish, with $51.20 representing the immediate resistance, a close above which could see Brent climbing to $52.50 a barrel.