MELBOURNE (Bloomberg) - Oil pared its biggest decline in two months as U.S. crude stockpiles climbed the most in 14 years to expand inventories to a record.
Futures rose as much as 1.2 per cent in New York, trimming Wednesday's 6.6 per cent slump.
Crude supplies increased by 10.95 million barrels last week, the most since March 2001, according to the Energy Information Administration. Stockpiles have advanced to 482.4 million barrels, the highest level in weekly EIA data since August 1982. The nation's output also climbed.
Oil's recovery has stalled amid speculation a global glut that drove prices almost 50 percent lower in 2014 will continue. The market will need "some time" to rebalance, according to Nasser Al-Dossary, Saudi Arabia's OPEC national representative. The kingdom is the world's biggest crude exporter.
West Texas Intermediate for May delivery rose as much as 58 cents to US$51 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange and was at US$50.92 at 9:08 a.m. Sydney time. The contract slid US$3.56 to US$50.42 on Wednesday. The volume of all futures traded was about 88 per cent below the 100-day average. Prices have fallen 4.4 per cent this year.
Brent for May settlement fell US$3.55, or 6 per cent, to US$55.55 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Wednesday. The European benchmark crude ended the session at a premium of US$5.13 to WTI.