U.S. crude inventories posted a smaller-than-expected draw last week, sending West Texas Intermediate prices back below $50 per barrel.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration said Wednesday that total U.S. crude inventories fell by 900,000 barrels to 1.22 billion barrels as of June 17.
That level was up 6 percent from 1.15 billion barrels a year ago.
According to Marketwatch, analysts had expected a draw down of about 1.4 million barrels.
Commercial stocks, excluding the strategic petroleum reserve, dipped by 900,000 barrels to 530.6 million barrels, up from 463 million barrels a year ago.
East Coast inventory grew by 1.1 million barrels to 17.8 million barrels, a 4.2 percent year-over-year gain.
Midwest stocks sunk by 800,000 barrels last week to 153.7 million, up from 137.7 million barrels a year ago.
Stocks at Cushing fell by 1.3 million barrels to 65.2 million barrels compared to 56.2 million barrels a year ago.
Gulf Coast stocks dipped to 272.9 million barrels last week after posting a 1.2 million barrel draw.
The Rocky Mountain region saw its stock drop by 400,000 barrels last week to 24.1 million barrels.
Crude stocks in the West Coast region increased by 400,000 barrels to 62.2 million barrels.
Alaska In-Transit stocks climbed to 5.5 million after gaining 1.3 million barrels last week.
Despite the draw downs, each of the seven regions included in the EIA’s report saw stock levels post year-over-year gains.
The smaller-than-expected inventory draw pulled WTI prices back down below $50 per barrel.
WTI fell from a high of $50.50 per barrel on Wednesday to $49.86 per barrel Thursday morning.
Brent crude ticked up to $50.69 per barrel after the opening bell on Thursday after falling below the $50 per barrel mark early Thursday morning.