Crude prices were lower on Wednesday after a surprise increase in U.S. oil inventories. WTI crude for February delivery was down around $52 a barrel, while Brent crude futures fell to $54.
Domestic inventories increased by 2.3 million barrels for the week ending Dec. 16, according to the EIA. Analysts had been anticipating a decline of 2.5 million barrels. With crude stockpiles up to 485.4 million barrels, domestic inventories are still at the upper limit of the average range for this time of year.