US commercial crude oil inventories dropped 0.7% for the week ending August 20, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories decreased by 3 million barrels to 432.6 million barrels, their lowest level since January 2020. The market expectation was a 2.37 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 621.3 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also decreased by 2.2 million barrels to 225.9 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production falls
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 193,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.16 million bpd for the week ending August 20, while crude oil exports fell by 619,000 bpd to around 2.81 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 5,000 bpd to approximately 11.82 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA forecasts that US crude output is estimated at 11.8 million bpd for 2022, up from 11.1 million bpd in 2021.
In November 2018, the US first surpassed Saudi Arabia and then Russia to become the world's largest crude oil producer.
By Sibel Morrow