Oil extends gains as U.S. crude inventories decline

File – A pump jack and pipes at an oil field near Bakersfield, California. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices extended gains on Wednesday after rallying overnight as industry data showed a decline in U.S. inventories.

Brent crude futures rose 7 cents to $79.01 a barrel by 0544 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude jumped 2 cents to $76.01 per barrel.

American Petroleum Institute data showed U.S. crude stocks fell by 3.1 million barrels in the week ended December 24, Reuters cited market sources as saying.

Gasoline inventories registered a lower-than-expected decline of 319,000 barrels, while distillate stocks dropped by 716,000 barrels compared with hopes of a 200,000-barrel-drop, according to Reuters.

Weekly data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later on Wednesday.

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