U.S. crude oil inventories dropped by 6.50 million barrels to 1.15 billion barrels during the week ended August 4. This was steeper than an anticipated decline of 2.70 million barrels, data from the Energy Information Administration showed Wednesday. Crude supplies typically decline during the peak summer driving season, but the size of recent drawdown was larger than the seasonal average.
However, the positive effect from the big drop in stockpiles was partially offset by gasoline inventories rising 3.40 million barrels to 231.10 million barrels during the same week. U.S. crude September futures were last seen around the $49.60-mark. The short-term bias remains bullish, with a break above $49.70 likely to see crude attempt a return to $50.00 per barrel.