US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 0.3% for the week ending Feb. 19, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Inventories rose by 1.3 million barrels to 463 million barrels, against the market expectation of a draw of 5.3 million barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 637.8 million barrels last week, the data showed.
Gasoline inventories also remained unchanged at 257.1 million barrels over the period.
- Crude production decreases
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by around 1.3 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 4.6 million bpd for the week ending Feb.19, while crude oil exports also saw a drop of 1.5 million bpd to approximately 2.3 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 1.1 million bpd to around 10.2 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