Industry group American Petroleum Institute (API) said late on Tuesday that U.S. crude stockpiles fell last week by 482,000 barrels due to lower imports and higher refinery runs.
This helped push front-month U.S. crude futures up 31 cents from their last settlement to $40.98 a barrel at 0120 GMT. The gain followed an over $1 fall during the previous session.
"Any surprising pick-up in refinery utilisation may drive the oil price higher in the short term," ANZ bank said on Wednesday.
Official inventory data is due later on Wednesday from the U.S. government's Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Internationally traded Brent crude futures were up 33 cents at $43.90 per barrel.
Despite the slight gains on Wednesday, most analysts expect prices to remain at low levels for the rest of the year and into 2016 as production continues to outpace demand.
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