US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.6% for the week ending April 30, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories decreased by 8 million barrels to 485.1 million barrels, higher than the market expectation of a 2.2 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 1 million barrels to 633.4 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, increased by 700,000 barrels to 235.8 million barrels over that period.
-Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 1.16 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.4 million bpd for the week ending April 30, while crude oil exports rose by 1.58 bpd to 4.12 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 15,000 bpd to approximately 11.35 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA's forecast shows that US crude output is estimated at 11 million bpd for 2021, down from 11.3 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