USA crude stocks rose less than expected last week while inventories at the key Cushing, Oklahoma storage hub fell for an 11th straight week, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday.
Brent futures slipped 32 cents to $64.47 a barrel by 1232 GMT, while USA crude futures fell 33 cents to $62.27, although both contracts had eased off their lows in line with a recovery in S&P futures.
Brent futures were last down 85 U.S. cents on the day at US$64.94 a barrel by 1005 GMT, while USA crude futures were down 69 United States cents at US$61.91 a barrel.
The resignation of Gary Cohn, economic adviser to US President Donald Trump, who was seen as a bulwark against protectionist forces in the government, triggered a drop in Wall Street stocks and tempered investor risk appetite.
The retreat by oil producers during an oil-price plunge between 2014 and 2016, however, continues to raise the specter that not enough money has been spent on exploration, which can result in shortages and price spikes. Brent was on track for a drop of about 0.1% this week, after last week's 4.4% slide.
With the inventories reports out of the way, traders are likely to go back to focusing on the outcome of the tariff debate and whether Trump will implement his plan to sanction imports of steel and aluminum, and if other countries will take retaliatory action.
The continued growth of United States shale has been a theme at the CERAWeek conference in Houston this week, said John Kilduff, partner at investment manager Again Capital in NY.
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Nevertheless, the US stands to dominate global oil markets for years to come, satisfying 80 percent of global demand growth to 2020, the International Energy Agency said Monday.
Crude inventories rose by 5.661 million barrels last week to 426.880 million barrels, data from the American Petroleum Institute showed on Tuesday.
"The smaller-than-expected inventory build led to swift short covering".
Inventories at the Cushing, Oklahoma, site decreased by 790,000 barrels this week.
A build in USA crude inventory reported the previous day was not as large as expected, given that stocks tend to rise towards the end of the winter as refineries conduct maintenance.
"Rising U.S. oil output coupled with a simultaneous upswing in domestic oil stockpiles has all the makings for a potent bearish cocktail", PVM Oil Associates strategist Stephen Brennock said.
Weekly data from the U.S. Department of Energy also showed weekly U.S. crude production hit a record high last week of nearly 10.4 million barrels per day (bpd).