US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.8% for the week ending July 9, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories fell by 7.9 million barrels to 437.6 million barrels, higher than the market expectation of a 4.3 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, did not change and remained at 621.3 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, recorded an unexpected rise and increased by 1 million barrels to 236.5 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports increased by 347,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.2 million bpd for the week ending July 9, while crude oil exports increased by 1.4 million bpd to around 4.02 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 98,000 bpd to approximately 11.83 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