Oil prices climbed on Wednesday, supported by a reported draw in U.S. crude inventories and by firm import data from Japan, according to Reuters.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 1.8%, or 81 cents, at $44.86 a barrel at 0403 GMT. The October contract expired yesterday at $43.44 a barrel and the front-month has now rolled over to November delivery, Reuters wrote.
Traders said that the main WTI price driver had been American Petroleum Institute data showing a 7.5 million barrel draw to 507.2 million barrels in U.S. crude inventories, the third weekly stock draw.
Market participants had expected an increase of 3.4 million barrels, according to a Reuters poll.
Official storage data is due to be published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration later on Wednesday, and traders said they were also eagerly anticipating a meeting by the U.S. Federal Reserve`s Federal Open Market Committee which might influence U.S. interest rates.
International Brent crude futures were at $46.47 per barrel, up 59 cents, or 1.3 percent, from their last close.
Traders said that Brent was being supported by firm imports from Japan.
Japan, the world`s fourth-biggest oil buyer, imported 3.38 million barrels per day of crude last month, the data showed.
Overall, however, oil markets remain oversupplied as exporters around the world pump near record amounts.