US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 2.8% for the week ending March 5, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories increased by 13.8 million barrels to 498.4 million barrels, more than the market expectation of a fall of 833,000 barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 637.8 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 11.9 million barrels, or 4.9%, to 231.6 million barrels over that period.
-Crude production rises
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports decreased by 636,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 5.65 million bpd for the week ending March 5, while crude oil exports increased by 282,000 bpd to 2.63 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 894,000 bpd to approximately 10.9 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA's forecast shows that US crude output is estimated at 11.1 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