USA crude and distillate stockpiles fell last week, while gasoline inventories increased unexpectedly, data from industry group the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
Crude inventories rose 5.8 million barrels in the week to May 18, compared with analysts' expectations for a decrease of 1.6 million barrels.
EIA data "appeared to overestimate exports last week, [and] this report's number brings them back in line with reality", while higher imports were "driven by strength in deliveries to the east and west coasts", according to Matt Smith, director of commodity research at ClipperData. "But if Iran and Venezuela will reduce the supply of likely oil will need more that the price of oil rose even more", - he said "Interfax" on the sidelines of the St. Petersburg global economic forum (SPIEF-2018).
Concern about a potential drop in Iranian oil exports following Washington's exit from a nuclear deal with Tehran and the threat of U.S. sanctions is also supporting prices.
Supply concerns in Iran and Venezuela following new United States sanctions had pushed both Brent and WTI to multi-year highs, with Brent breaking through a $80 threshold last week for the first time since November 2014.
Trump in April complained that OPEC was artificially pushing the price of oil higher. Analysts were looking for a 1.388-million-barrel draw. Overall demand for refined products in the United States has kept refining activity buoyant, helping drain crude inventories in the world's largest consuming nation.
Prices have also been affected by rising geopolitical tensions that could dent global output just as demand is set to hit 100 million barrels per day in the final quarter of this year, according to the International Energy Agency. Renewed U.S. sanctions following the cancellation of the Iran nuclear arms deal may also remove supply from the market.More news: Driver WARNING - Petrol and diesel prices could rise over 140p per litre
More news: Subtropical Storm Alberto forms over the northwestern Caribbean Sea
More news: United States federal court says 'NO' to President Donald Trump
The increase in USA inventories came from a combination of reduced exports and rising imports; the latter is somewhat surprising, Flynn said, because Brent crude is currently trading at a $7 premium to us crude, making exports more advantageous right now.
Global oil prices fell Friday after top producer Saudi Arabia signalled a likely boost in supply as soon as the third quarter, and world stock markets were mixed over the sudden USA move to cancel the summit with North Korea.
The Saudi comments sent oil prices tumbling by over three percent.
Gulf OPEC countries are leading the initial talks on when the exporting group can boost oil production to cool the oil market after crude rose above $80 a barrel last week, and how many barrels each member can add, the sources said.
Representatives of OPEC and other major oil producers convened May 22 before the group's main meeting next month to review the impact of production cuts.
USA crude stockpiles are forecast to have declined by 2.8 million barrels last week, which would be the third straight weekly fall.