Oil futures were up in early trading hours on Thursday, with investors digesting US inventory data while waiting for Baker Hughes’ weekly oil rig count on Friday.
The US West Texas Intermediate crude contracts rose 0.24 percent to $68.21 per barrel as of 10:20 GMT. Meanwhile, Brent futures were 0.49 percent higher at $74.36 a barrel.
Crude benchmarks settled in green territory on Wednesday as an unexpected increase in US crude reserves was offset by a record export level of crude last week.
According to the US Energy Information Administration, crude inventories jumped in 2.170 million barrels for the week ended April 20, against expectations for a 1.6 million barrels drop.
However, the uptick in crude inventories was counteracted by a rise in exports to 2.331 million barrels last week, which is about 30 percent more than the previous week.
The report said gasoline stockpiles grew by 0.840 million barrels, falling short of expectations for a draw of 0.625 million barrels. Distillate products dropped by 2.611 million barrels, compared to an expected reduction of 0.861 million barrels.
The sentiment on oil remained mixed as investors trusted output cuts by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries will continue to stabilize prices.
Back in November 2016, OPEC and a group of non-OPEC producers, including Russia, agreed to reduce production levels by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to provide support for prices and eliminate the gap between supply and demand. The deal is expected to run until Dec 2018.