[TOKYO] Oil traded around US$46 a barrel after a government report showed an unexpected decline in US crude inventories amid supply disruptions in Nigeria.
Futures fell 0.5 per cent in New York after rising 3.5 per cent Wednesday to a six-month high. Crude output fell to 8.8 million barrels a day last week, the lowest since September 2014, while stockpiles fell 3.41 million barrels, the US Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had projected a 750,000-barrel gain in supplies.
Crude has rebounded after slumping to the lowest level since 2003 earlier this year on signs the global oversupply is easing as US output declines, while supply disruptions crimp other producers.
At least a fifth of Nigerian oil production, equivalent to almost 400,000 barrels a day, has been shut down as a pipeline closure added to disruptions caused by militant attacks.
West Texas Intermediate for June delivery fell as much as 23 US cents to US$46 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$46.01 at 7:08 am Tokyo time on Thursday. The contract rose US$1.57, or 3.5 per cent, to close at US$46.23 on Wednesday.
Brent for July settlement climbed US$2.08, or 4.6 per cent, to end the session at US$47.60 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Tuesday.
The global benchmark crude closed at a 59 US cent premium to July WTI.