Crude oil prices dipped in Asia on Thursday after a weaker than expected API build in crude oil inventories failed to lift sentiment with Hurricane Irma approaching the U.S. East Coast and recovery efforts still underway in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, crude futures for October delivery eased 0.22% to $49.05 a barrel, while on London's Intercontinental Exchange, Brent fell 0.20% to $54.09 a barrel.
U.S. crude oil inventories rose by 2.79 million barrels at the end of last week, the American Petroleum Institute said on Wednesday, less than the expected 4.0 million barrels build.
Gasoline inventories fell by 2.54 million barrels and distillates declined by 600,000 barrels. Supplies at the oil hub of Cushing, Oklahoma, rose by 670,000 barrels.
The data was published a day later than usual due to Monday's Labor Day holiday. The U.S. Department of Energy will release its official data on inventories on Thursday.
Overnight, oil prices settled higher for a third day in a row on Wednesday, as demand for crude returned from restarted Gulf Coasts refineries following disruptions to U.S. refining capacity due to Hurricane Harvey.
Crude oil settled at a four-week peak as concerns over a big drop in crude demand subsided following an uptick in the number of U.S. refineries restarting operations after Harvey knocked out more than a quarter of refining capacity last week.
Meanwhile the development of Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the Caribbean earlier on Wednesday, continued to garner investor attention, as the Category 5 storm could knock out other refineries and add to concerns over fuel shortages.
Also supporting the rise in oil prices were suggestions that Russia and Saudi Arabia would be open to extending their output cut agreement.
Russian energy minister, Alexander Novak said Tuesday that representatives from both Saudi Arabia and Russia had talked about an extension but that no specific decisions had yet been reached.