March 21 (UPI) -- Crude future prices fell early Thursday following Wednesday gains that took them to their highest point of the year after being lifted on reports of a large inventory draw.
West Texas Intermediate future prices fell 0.7 percent to $59.80 per barrel as of 8:05 a.m. EST, while Brent fell 0.5 percent to $67.94 per barrel as of the same time.
WTI reached its highest price so far this year on Wednesday, when it closed at $60.23 per barrel. As for Brent, it also closed at its highest level for the year on Wednesday at $68.27 per barrel.
On Wednesday, "crude oil prices soared as EIA inventory flow data revealed an unexpectedly large 9.59-million-barrel drop in stockpiles. That marks the largest one-week drawdown in eight months," Ilya Spiva, a DailyFX analyst, said in comments sent to UPI.
"Gasoline and distillate storage also shrank more than analysts projected," he added.
For the week ended March 15, U.S. crude oil refinery inputs averaged 16.2 million barrels per day, which was 178,000 barrels per day higher than the previous week, the EIA said in a report on Wednesday.
Inventories of commercial crude oil, as well as other crude oil products, were down last week though.
"U.S. commercial crude oil inventories (excluding those in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve) decreased by 9.6 million barrels from the previous week. At 439.5 million barrels, U.S. crude oil inventories are about 2 percent below the five year average for this time of year," the EIA said.
The increase in oil prices from Wednesday also occurred on a week in which "the U.S. Federal Reserve took a more dramatically dovish turn in both policy and guidance than investors anticipated" that also led to the rise of other commodities like gold.
On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve said the economy was slowing more than previously anticipated, leading to predict interest rates may not rise this year.
Crude oil prices saw their recent highest levels in October and their minimums in late December. On Oct. 3, WTI futures traded above $76 per barrel with Brent trading above $86 per barrel. At the end of December, Brent fell to under $51 per barrel while WTI fell to under $43 per barrel.