U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected last week, according API data. However, the rise in inventory did not aid much to calm down bullish bets on $100-a-barrel oil as many believe escalating Ukraine-Russia tensions will disrupt global supplies.
Oil pushed higher as traders weighed possible risks to Russian energy exports against the potential release of some strategic reserves to protect prices. The WTI is up by 1.42 % at $93.46 per barrel while the Brent is marginally up by 1.30% to $98.10 per barrel.
U.S. crude inventories increased by 6.0 million barrels for the week ended Feb. 17. That compared with a draw of 1.1 million barrels reported by the API for the previous week.
The API data also showed that gasoline inventories rose by 427,000 barrels last week, and distillate stocks declined by 985,000 barrels.
The official government inventory report due Thursday is expected to show weekly U.S. crude supplies increased by about 442,000 barrels last week.