Commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell more than expected by 1.8% for the week ending Aug. 28, about 14% above the five-year average for this time of year, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Inventories fell by 9.4 million barrels to 498.4 million barrels compared to the market expectation of a 1.9 million barrel decrease.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, fell to 648.2 million barrels for the week ending Aug. 28, the data showed.
Gasoline inventories also fell by 4.3 million barrels, or 1.8%, to 234.9 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production decreases
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 4.9 million bpd for the week ending Aug. 28. Crude oil exports also fell by 361,000 bpd to 3.0 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 1.08 million bpd to approximately 10.16 million bpd for the same period.
US crude oil production is estimated to decrease by 370,000 barrels per day (bpd) from the previous Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecast, according to the EIA's August STEO.
The EIA forecast that crude output would average 11.3 million bpd in 2020 and 11.1 million bpd in 2021, down from 12.2 million bpd in 2019.
In November 2018, the US first surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Sibel Morrow