SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Global oil prices climbed near $74 a barrel in Asian trade Thursday mainly after reports of decline in US crude inventories.

Light sweet crude for July delivery was seen trading at $73.61 a barrel at 11.00 a.m Singapore time while Brent crude was at $ 74.45 a barrel in London.

U.S. crude stockpiles fell a larger-than-expected 1.4 million barrels last week, an industry group said on Wednesday. Oil traders awaited confirmation of the decline from government statistics due later on Thursday.

The American Petroleum Institute said late on Wednesday that U.S. commercial crude stocks fell by 1.4 million barrels in the week to May 28, more than a 100,000-barrel draw projected by analysts polled by Reuters ahead of the release.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), a government agency, will issue its own stockpiles report later on Thursday.

The rise for oil futures adds to gains from Wednesday, when oil prices got a boost after data showed pending U.S. home sales rose, encouraging optimism about economic recovery and also lifting equities.

On Wednesday, New York's main contract, light sweet crude for delivery in July, rose 28 cents to close at $72.86 a barrel while Brent crude for July settled $1.04 higher at $73.75.