Oil rises as US inventories fall to the lowest level

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Oil prices rose for a second session in a row after US government data showed that US crude inventories fell to a three-and-a-half-year low, easing concerns over oversupply that have affected markets in recent weeks.

Global Brent crude futures closed up 49 cents, or 0.67 percent, to settle at $ 73.93 a barrel.

US benchmark WTI futures rose 78 cents, or 1.14 percent, to settle at $ 69.30 a barrel.

Crude oil inventories fell by 6.1 million barrels in the week ending July 20 to 404.9 million barrels, the lowest level since February 2015. Analysts had forecast a 2.3 million barrel drop, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed.

Crude stocks at the delivery center in Cushing, Oklahoma, fell 1.1 million barrels to their lowest level since November 2014.

Data also showed a decline of 2.3 million barrels in US gasoline inventories, while it was expected to fall 713 thousand barrels.

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