Oil futures edged higher in early Asian trading Thursday, adding to gains from the previous session after official figures showed U.S. crude inventories fell more than expected.
Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 8 cents, or 0.15 percent,at $52.78 at 0015 GMT. It closed 1.1 percent higher on Wednesday, snapping two days of declines.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 8 cents, or 0.2 percent, at $49.64, after rising 0.8 percent in the previous session.
U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week as refineries boosted output to the highest percentage of capacity in 12 years, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
U.S. crude inventories fell 6.5 million barrels last week, the government data showed, steeper than the expected decrease of 2.7 million barrels.
Refiners processed nearly 17.6 million barrels of crude, surpassing a record set in May and the most for any week since the U.S. Department of Energy started keeping data in 1982.
But a surprise increase in gasoline stocks is capping gains in oil prices and tempering attempts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers to boost prices that are about half of levels three years ago.
They are cutting output by about 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) under an agreement set to run until March 2018.
The deal has supported prices but a recovery in output in Libya and Nigeria, OPEC members exempt from the cut, has also complicated the initiative.