US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.2% for the week ending April 9, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories decreased by 5.9 million barrels to 492.4 million barrels, higher than the market expectation of a 2.1 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, also declined by 1.1 million barrels to 636.7 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, rose by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1%, to 234.9 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production increases
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 411,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.85 million bpd for the week ending April 9, while crude oil exports also declined by 855,000 bpd to 2.58 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 100,000 bpd to approximately 11.46 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 Firdevs Yuksel