Brent oil fell 1.5 per cent on Wednesday on an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stocks that revived worries about the supply glut that has capped prices for the past two years.
Global benchmark Brent crude LCOc1 was down 74 cents at $49.22 (£37.23) a barrel at 0809 GMT (0409 ET), after touching an intraday low of $49.07 (£37.12).
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude CLc1 was down 1.8 per cent, at $47.24 (£35.73) a barrel. Earlier in the session, the contract came close to shedding a dollar at $47.13 (£35.65).
Ole Hansen, Saxo Bank’s head of commodities research said, “API (data) showed a big build last week and that supported the quick turnaround in sentiment”.
Industry data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) showed on Tuesday that U.S. crude inventories had risen by 4.5 million barrels in the week ending Aug. 19.
Analysts had expected a 455,000-barrel fall.
The U.S. government will publish its own weekly crude stocks data at 1430 GMT on Wednesday.