The American Petroleum Institute, an industry trade group, on Tuesday said U.S. crude oil inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels last week, according to news reports. The data comes ahead of a closely watched weekly inventory report from the Energy Information Administration on Wednesday morning. Analysts, on average, expect the EIA data to show a 200,000 barrel fall in inventories, according to a survey by The Wall Street Journal. West Texas Intermediate crude for May delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange traded at $51.13 a barrel in electronic trade, up 10 cents from its settlement Tuesday afternoon.
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