Commercial crude oil inventories in the US increased by 0.4% for the week ending Sept. 4, about 14% above the five-year average for this time of year, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday.
Inventories rose by 2 million barrels to 500.4 million barrels compared to the market expectation of a 1.4 million-barrel draw.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, fell to 647.9 million barrels for the week ending Sept. 4, the data showed.
Gasoline inventories also fell by 3 million barrels, or 1.3%, to 231.9 million barrels over that period.
- Crude production increases
According to EIA data, US crude oil imports increased by 523,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.4 million bpd for the week ending Sept. 4. while crude oil exports saw a decline of 58,000 bpd to 2.9 million bpd.
The data showed that US crude oil production expanded by 1.08 million bpd to approximately 10.459 million bpd during the same period.
US crude output is estimated to be 11.4 million bpd in 2020 and 11.1 million bpd in 2021, down from 12.2 million bpd in 2019, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) forecast for September.
In November 2018, the US first surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Sibel Morrow