A government report showing U.S. crude inventories fell 2.62 million barrels last week sparked a big jump in oil futures as they reached their highest level in six weeks in Wednesday’s trading.
Futures rose 2.6 percent in Wednesday’s trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange as oil rose $1.63 per barrel, settling at an April contract of $65.17.
Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures Europe exchange rose $2.05 a barrel and settled at $69.47 on May contracts.
Natural gas rose 4 cents on the NYMEX and settled at $2.64 Mmbtu.
The oil contract jumps followed a report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing refiners and brokers withdrew more than 2.6 million barrels of crude from storage operations last week in the country.
The jump in prices not only surprised analysts but caught them off guard as they expected a drop in prices.