Oil prices rose more than 2% today after industry data showed US inventories fell more than expected and as major US producers evacuated rigs in the Gulf of Mexico before a storm. 

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $1.28 to $59.11 today, after hitting a session high of $59.31 earlier. 

Brent crude futures were up $1.42 at $65.58, but below a session high of $65.69. 

Data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) yesterday showed U.S. crude inventories fell by 8.1 million barrels in the week to July 5 to 461.4 million, compared with analyst expectations for a decrease of 3.1 million barrels. 

Major oil companies began evacuating and shutting in production in the Gulf of Mexico after weather forecasts warned that a tropical disturbance might become a storm today or tomorrow. 

Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and BHP Group are removing staff from 15 offshore energy platforms. 

Exxon Mobil said it was "closely monitoring" the disturbance to determine if its facilities might be affected. 

The Gulf of Mexico is home to 17% of U.S. crude oil output which stands at around 12 million barrels per day (bpd).

The US and global benchmarks have gained this year as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and big producers such as Russia have curbed output to bolster prices. 

The alliance, known as OPEC+, agreed last week to extend their supply-cutting deal until March 2020. 

Tensions around Iran's nuclear programme and recent incidents involving oil tankers in the Gulf have also supported prices. 

The US will use an emergency meeting of the UN nuclear watchdog's board today to raise pressure on Iran. Diplomats expect fiery exchanges between the Iranian and US envoys. 

Oil prices have been under pressure from uncertainty over the outlook for global economic growth because of fallout from the US-China trade war as well as record oil supply growth. 

The EIA yesterday revised its U.S. crude oil production forecast for 2019 to an all-time high of 12.36 million bpd.