Crude prices rose to $111 on Wednesday as the government reported crude, gasoline and distillate fuel stockpiles in the U.S. dropped larger than expected last week.
Crude oil inventories fell by 3.2 million barrels or 1 percent to 316 million barrels on the week ended April 4, the Energy Department reported. This was the first decline since February according to the report.
Experts forecasted inventories would rise by an average from 2.3 to 2.4 million barrels according to surveys made by Bloomberg and Dow Jones respectively.
Crude futures for delivery in May rose $2.50 or 2.3 percent on Wednesday to $111 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange by 11:08 a.m. Prices jumped to $111.21 earlier, close to the record high of $111.80 a barrel on March 17.
The price of crude has increased 81 percent from a year ago, according to Bloomberg.
Gasoline prices also climbed today as the report showed gasoline inventories fell last week by 3.4 million barrels to 221.3 million barrels, while specialists predicted a decline of 2.3 million.
The Energy Department also said demand for gasoline over the four weeks ended April 4 was about 1.7 percent lower than a year earlier.
Inventories of distillate fuel including heating oil and diesel dropped more than forecasted by 3.7 million barrels to 106 million barrels last week.
The Energy department said refineries in the U.S. worked at 83 percent of its full capacity.
Brent crude futures rose $1.74 or 1.64 percent to $107.90 a barrel in the ICE Futures Exchange.