Crude oil prices fell in early Asian trading as traders took profit following a 4 percent rise in the previous session.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were trading at $46.23 per barrel at 0024 GMT, down 45 cents from their last settlement. Globally traded Brent futures LCOc1 were at $48.51 per barrel, down 41 cents.
The dip in prices came after oil rallied on Monday, with U.S crude surging more than 4 percent on signs of declining stockpiles and a fall in drilling activity, which implies lower future oil production.
A Reuters poll on Monday forecast that U.S. crude inventories as a whole fell by 2.1 million barrels last week. [EIA/S]
Traders also focused on the soon-to-expire front-month contract in the West Texas Intermediate (WTI), which serves as the U.S. benchmark. WTI's October contract CLV5 will go off the NYMEX board after Tuesday's settlement, and November CLX5 will move up as the front-month.
"After yesterday's rises, a bit of selling off this morning doesn't come as a surprise. But I wouldn't read too much into the price moves as the roll-over skews the picture somewhat," one trader said.
"I'd wait for a new set of market relevant data to come out to make a new call," he added.