FXStreet (Córdoba) - Oil futures advanced further on Thursday, extending gains into a third day, underpinned by an unexpected drop in US stockpiles. The US Energy Information Administration reported on Wednesday that crude oil inventories decreased by 5.9 million barrels in the week ended Dec 18, against expectations of a of 1.1 million barrels gain, while the American Petroleum Institute said late Tuesday that stockpiles dropped by 3.6 million barrels. Crude oil for delivery in February on the New York Mercantile Exchange gained more than 1%, to trade above $38.00 a barrel. It reached a peak of $38.18, the highest since December 9. WTI futures are headed for a 10% weekly gain although the commodity remains down by over 30% this year amid global supply glut concerns. The Nymex session will see an early close and will be closed Friday for Christmas. For more information, read our latest forex news.