US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 100,000 to 493.1 million barrels for the week ending April 23, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
The market expectation was a 375,000 rise.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 1.4 million barrels to 634.5 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, increased by 100,000 barrels to 235.1 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production falls
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports rose by 1.21 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.6 million bpd for the week ending April 23, while crude oil exports also fell by 7,000 bpd to 2.54 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 103,000 bpd to approximately 11.34 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 Sibel Morrow