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Oil rebounds above $50 on surprise 553,000 barrel fall in US crude stockpiles

Oil prices rebounded above $50 a barrel on Wednesday after government data showed a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories, offsetting skepticism over OPEC's planned output cut.

U.S. commercial crude stockpiles fell by 553,000 barrels in the week ended Oct. 21, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Analysts polled by Reuters forecast a 1.7-million barrel build.

In a preliminary inventory report on Tuesday, trade group American Petroleum Institute (API) said U.S. crude stocks rose 4.8 million barrels in the week to Oct. 21.

The data extended the trend of unexpected draws seen in U.S. crude stocks in six of the past seven weeks.

Crude stocks generally rise at this time of year as refineries go into maintenance. Refinery crude runs rose by 182,000 barrels per day, EIA data showed. Refinery utilization rates rose by 0.6 percentage points.

Gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1-million-barrel drop.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 3.4 million barrels, versus expectations for a 1.4 million barrels drop, the EIA data showed.

Brent crude futures were down 33...