India's oil imports from Iran fell 19% last month, while other regional oil-exporting nations Iraq and Saudi Arabia saw a rise in their November oil shipments to the world's third-largest oil consumer.
The global benchmark has slipped 0.54 per cent to $54.74 a barrel, while U.S. sweet crude is down 0.59 per cent to $52.64.
Elsewhere on the New York Mercantile Exchange, Nymex reformulated gasoline blendstock for January RBF7, +0.13% - the benchmark gasoline contract - gained.68 cent, or 0.4%, to close at $1.5639 a gallon.
USA data also showed the economy grew faster than previously estimated in the third quarter, at the quickest pace in two years. The upward revision was due to stronger consumer spending and business investment.
Reuters reports that prices were lifted by strong USA economic data, a pause in the us dollar rally and optimism that crude producers would adhere to a deal to cut output. USA crude rose 1% to $53.01 a barrel on the NYMEX. The ICE US Dollar Index, a gauge of the greenback against six rival currencies, edged up 0.1% to 103.07.
On a bullish note, the report revealed that refined product inventories - gasoline and distillate - both decreased handsomely from their previous week levels.
Oil prices were knocked back sharply late on Wednesday after the USA reported a surprising rise in crude oil inventories and announced a plan to sell oil from its strategic reserve, starting next month.
Previously the state-owned group said it will pay the government a dividend of RM13 billion next year, which is 18.75% lower than its RM16 billion dividend commitment this year. The inventories drew by 4.15 million barrels as opposed to expectations of 2.5 million barrel draw.
On Wall Street, US energy stocks were among the strongest performers on Thursday.
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