US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.5% for the week ending July 2, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories fell by 6.9 million barrels to 445.5 million barrels, higher than the market expectation of a 3.9 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, also fell by 1.2 million barrels to 621.3 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also recorded a massive drop by 6.1 million barrels to 235.5 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 532,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.9 million bpd for the week ending June 25, while crude oil exports fell by 1 million bpd to around 2.6 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 190,000 bpd to approximately 11.7 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA forecasts that US crude output is estimated at 11.1 million bpd for 2021, down from 11.24 million bpd in 2020.
In November 2018, the US first surpassed Saudi Arabia and then Russia to become the world's largest crude oil producer.
By Sibel Morrow