Crude oil futures rise after US stockpiles fall

Oil futures rose in early Asian trading on Wednesday after an industry group released weekly figures showing US stockpiles fell more than expected last week.

Brent crude LCOc1 was up 13 cents at $46.79 a barrel at 0017 GMT. On Tuesday, the contract settled down 30 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $46.66 barrel.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 rose 7 cents to $44.72 a barrel. It fell 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, to settle at $44.65 in the previous session.

US crude stockpiles fell by 2.3 million barrels last week, trade group American Petroleum Institute (API) reported. That was just above a 2.1 million-barrels draw forecast in a Reuters poll.

For distillate inventories including diesel, API reported a surprise draw of 484,000 barrels. It also said there was an unexpected gasoline build of 805,000 barrels.

The US government's Energy Information Administration (EIA) will issue inventory data later on Wednesday.

If the EIA confirms a drawdown, it will be the ninth straight week that US crude stockpiles have fallen.