Oil up over US$1 a barrel on US inventory fall, fire in US major supply facility

A worker walks in between oil barrels at Pertamina's storage depot in Jakarta in this Jan 26, 2011 photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
A worker walks in between oil barrels at Pertamina's storage depot in Jakarta in this Jan 26, 2011 photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

SEOUL (Reuters) - Brent crude hit US$58.48 a barrel supported by a larger-than-expected fall in U.S. crude inventory and a fire in a major U.S. crude supply facility.

Front-month U.S. crude for February delivery also gained US$1.04 a barrel at US$54.31 as of 0107 GMT after hitting US$55.11 earlier the session. U.S. crude inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels in the last week as refineries hiked output, compared with analysts' expectations for an decrease of 67,000 barrels.

The oil prices were also supported a fire on an Enbridge Inc crude oil storage and pipeline facility just south of Williston, N.D., which serves as a key gathering and distribution hub for crude oil produced in the second-largest crude oil producer in the United States. It was also not clear if the fire was affecting crude oil storage tanks or other parts of the complex.