NEW YORK, July 16 (Xinhua) -- U.S. crude price gained Wednesday as crude inventories of the United States dropped more-than- expected last week.
U.S. crude stockpiles lost 7.5 million barrels to 375 million barrels for the week ended July 11, topping market expectation, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Stockpiles at Cushing, Oklahoma, the delivery point for U.S. crude, fell 600 thousand barrels to 20.3 million. U.S. crude production rose 78 thousand barrels a day to 8.592 million last week, the most since 1986.
Analysts believed that as the summer driving season came, the sharp drop in inventories suggests the demand for oil was stronger than expected.
Brent crude price steadied as market expected more crude supplies from Middle East.
Several Libyan oil ports were reopened recently for crude ships. Market expected several hundred thousand barrels of Libyan crude will soon pour to the market. Concerns over a possible disruption in production in Iraq also eased.
Light, sweet crude for August delivery moved up 1.24 dollars to settle at 101.2 U.S. dollars a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, while Brent crude for August delivery lost 17 cents to close at 105.85 dollars a barrel.