Oil prices edged up from earlier lows this evening, after crude oil reserves in the US rose by less than expected. The US is the world's top energy consumer.

The latest weekly US fuel figures were mixed, with a rise in crude oil and distillate stockpiles, but a surprise fall in petrol.

US crude was down 45 cents at $125.35 a barrel, having reached a peak of $126.98 on Tuesday. London Brent crude was down $1.25 at $122.85.

The US Energy Information Administration reported a rise of 200,000 barrels in crude oil stocks last week, less than the 1.8 million barrel increase forecast by analysts. Distillates, which include heating oil, rose 1.4 million barrels, more than the 800,000 increase analysts had predicted. Petrol stockpiles fell by 1.7 million barrels.

Earlier, an assurance from Iran that it had no plans to cut oil exports had cooled down the market. Prices had surged to a new record of nearly $127 on Tuesday after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had said a proposal to cut crude output was under review.