Oil prices jumped to their highest level so far this year Wednesday, settling at $56.34 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
It was the highest close since mid-November.
The jump in oil prices appeared to be due to a government report showing that although the levels of crude oil in storage continues to rise, the amount of crude oil being put in storage was less than expected.
According to the weekly report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, crude oil levels for the week ending May 1 rose by 600,000 barrels. But analysts had expected it to be more than 2 million. Traders took it as a sign that demand might be improving.