prices rose on Wednesday, lifted by a report of a drop in US
crude inventories and declining production in China, while an upbeat OPEC
statement on its planned output cut also supported the market.
A slightly weaker dollar boosted oil
as well, traders said, as it makes fuel purchases cheaper for countries using other currencies, potentially spurring demand.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil
futures were trading at $50.73 per barrel at 0326 GMT, up 44 cents, or 0.87 per cent, from their last settlement.
Brent crude futures were at $52.14 a barrel, up 46 cents, or 0.89 per cent.
"The American Petroleum Institute crude inventory numbers were released ... this has given early Asian trading a bullish start," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA
crude stockpiles fell 3.8 million barrels in the week to October 14, to 467.1 million barrels, the API reported late on Tuesday.
Traders said oil
was supported by Mohammed Barkindo, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), saying he is confident about the prospects of a planned production cut following an OPEC
meeting on November 30.
"I am optimistic we will have a decision," he said.
In its first output cut agreement since 2008, OPEC
said it plans to reduce production to 32.50 million to 33.0 million barrels per day (bpd), compared with record output of 33.6 million bpd in September.
The group also hopes non-OPEC
producers, especially Russia, will cooperate in a cut.
In China, a raft of economic and trade data was released on Wednesday.
While economic growth was in line with expectations, at an annual growth rate of 6.7 per cent in the third quarter, its oil
figures were supportive of higher oil
prices, traders said.
China processed 43.8 million tonnes (10.7 million bpd) of crude oil
in September, up 2.4 per cent from a year ago, government data showed on Wednesday.
Over the same month, China's oil
production fell 9.8 per cent to 15.98 million tonnes (3.89 million bpd), in its steepest decline in 19 months.