US commercial crude oil inventories increased by 0.3% for the week ending May 14, according to the latest data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Inventories increased by 1.3 million barrels to 486 million barrels, less than the market expectation of a 1.6 million-barrel rise.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in commercial crude stocks, declined by 1.9 million barrels to 630.1 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also decreased by 2 million barrels to 234.2 million barrels over that period.
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports increased by 923,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 6.41 million bpd for the week ending May 14, while crude oil exports rose by 1.51 million bpd to around 3.31 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 5,000 bpd to approximately 11.46 million bpd during the same period.
The EIA forecasts that US crude output is estimated at 11.2 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