Commercial crude oil inventories in the US decreased by 0.2% for the week ending Nov. 20, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Inventories declined by 800,000 barrels to 488.7 million barrels against the market expectation of a 333,000 barrels fall.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, fell to 638.2 million barrels for the week ending Nov. 20, the data showed.
Gasoline inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels, or 1%, to 230.1 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 26,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.228 million bpd for the week ending Nov. 20, while crude oil exports also saw an increase of 83,000 bpd to 2.83 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production rose by 81,000 bpd to approximately 11.495 million bpd during the same period.
US crude output is now estimated at 11.4 million bpd in 2020 and 11.1 million bpd in 2021, down from 12.2 million bpd in 2019, according to the EIA's forecast.
In November 2018, the US first surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Sibel Morrow