US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 1.4% for the week ending Feb. 5, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Inventories fell by 6.6 million barrels to 469 million barrels, against the market expectation of a build of 1.34 million barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, also decreased by 200,000 barrels to 637.9 million barrels last week, the data showed.
Gasoline inventories increased by 4.3 million barrels, or 1.7%, to 256.4 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production increases
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by around 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.86 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 5, while crude oil exports also saw a drop of 866,000 bpd to approximately 2.62 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 99,000 bpd to around 11.5 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA's forecast shows that US crude output is now 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