United States oil inventories surged last week, but the increase was nearly completely offset by drops in product stockpiles.
In a development that will ease OPEC concern about a new glut, the report also said inventories in developed economies fell in February, after rising in January.
Crude prices have rallied more than 30 per cent in London this year and are trading above US$71 a barrel as Saudi Arabia spearheads output cutbacks by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies.
At 456.5 million barrels, USA crude oil inventories are at the five-year average for this time of year.
Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), has forecast a much tighter market in 2019, and has seen its production fall significantly this year, led by curbs to Saudi Arabian output along with dramatic, involuntary declines from sanctions-hit Venezuela.
Worldwide oil prices will average $75 a barrel in 2019, and consumers may find themselves contending with bouts of $80 crude this summer, RBC Capital Markets says.
According to the Department of Energy, America's stores of commercial crude oil rose by 7.0m barrels over the week ending on 5 April to reach 456.5m barrels (consensus: 2.3m b/d), leaving them at their average level of the past five years.More news: Reaction as May granted Brexit delay until Halloween
More news: Michael Avenatti Indicted for Allegedly Stealing $1.6 Million From Client
More news: Merkel says backs longer Brexit delay than London seeking
Sources told Reuters that OPEC may raise output from July if Venezuelan and Iranian supplies fall further and prices keep rallying.
"The energy complex is on the back foot as investors fret over yesterday's hefty build in USA crude stockpiles", analysts at London broker PVM Oil Associates Ltd. said in a note to clients. The producers are due to meet on June 25-26 to decide whether to extend the pact.
June WTI crude oil is expected to continue to be supported fundamentally by the OPEC-led supply cuts and technically by a major Fibonacci level at $63.48.
Brent futures LCOc1 were at $70.93 per barrel at 1100 GMT, up 32 cents, or 0.44 per cent, from their last close on Wednesday as OPEC cuts and US sanctions on Iran and Venezuela continued to tighten supply.
US crude exports have also risen, breaking through three million bpd for the first time earlier this year.
A key metric for the deal has been to lower oil inventories below the five-year average. But it said that the market remains oversupplied and warned of slowing demand growth.
"Of course, Venezuela and Iran continue to be the usual suspects when it comes to near-term oil price projections with USA sanctions targeting the oil industry of both countries as a regime-changing tool". At the same time, the International Energy Agency (IEA) reported that OPEC production fell 550,000 bpd.