US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 0.1% for the week ending April 16, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories increased by 600,000 barrels to 493 million barrels, higher than the market expectation of a 2.8 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 700,000 barrels to 635.9 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, rose by 100,000 barrels to 235 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production falls
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports declined by 448,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.5 million bpd for the week ending April 16, while crude oil exports also fell by 31,000 bpd to 2.54 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 11,000 bpd to approximately 11.44 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA's forecast shows that US crude output is estimated to be 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