U.S. crude oil inventories decreased much by more than the market expectation for the week ending Nov. 29, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil inventories declined by 4.9 million barrels, or 1.1%, to 447.1 million barrels for the week ending Nov. 29, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was a decline of 1.7 million barrels. Inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, fell by 1 million barrels, or 0.2%, to 635.2 million barrels last week, according to the data.
Gasoline inventories, on the other hand, showed an increase of 3.4 million barrels, or 1.5%, to 229.4 million barrels during that period, more than the market expectation of an increase of 1.8 million barrels. The previous week saw gasoline inventories jump by 5.1 million barrels.
- Crude output remains at record high
While U.S. crude oil imports fell by 201,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.99 million bpd for the week ending Nov. 29, crude oil exports also decreased by 345,000 bpd to 3.13 million bpd, according to EIA data.
U.S. crude oil production remained almost unchanged at 12.9 million bpd for the week ending Nov. 29, the EIA data showed.
Crude oil production at a record high level of 12.9 million bpd was first reached during the week ending Nov. 22, according to the EIA data.
U.S. crude output is expected to average 12.3 million bpd in 2019 and 13.3 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report for November.
By Ovunc Kutlu in Vienna