US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.9% during the week ending April 15, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Inventories fell by 8 million barrels to 413.7 million barrels, against the market expectation for a rise of 2.5 million barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 4.7 million barrels to 556 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also decreased by 800,000 barrels to 232.4 million barrels over the same period.
- Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 159,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.84 million bpd during the week ending April 15, while crude oil exports increased by 2.09 million bpd to 4.27 million bpd.
US crude oil production, meanwhile, rose by 84,000 bpd to approximately 12.33 million bpd during the same period.
In the April Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO), the EIA forecasts that crude oil output in the US will average 12 million bpd in 2022, up from 11.2 million bpd in 2021.
In 2023, crude oil output in the country is forecast to reach its highest annual average on record at 13 million bpd.
The previous annual average record of 12.3 million bpd was set in 2019.
By Firdevs Yuksel