Crude oil inventories in the U.S. increased last week, while crude production fell slightly to remain at record high level, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Commercial crude oil stocks increased by 8 million barrels, or 1.8 percent, to 445 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 18, the EIA data showed. The market expectation for crude stocks was a decline of 42,000 barrels. Stocks decreased by 2.7 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 649.1 million barrels last week, according to the data.
Gasoline inventories increased by 4.1 million barrels, or 1.6 percent, to 259.6 million barrels during that period, compared to the market expectation of an increase of 2.6 million barrels. During the previous week, gasoline inventories saw an increase of 7.5 million barrels.
- Crude production falls
The U.S.' crude oil production decreased slightly by 16,000 barrels per day (bpd) to around 11.9 million bpd for the week ending Jan. 18, the EIA data showed.
Last week, the 16,000 bpd decline in crude production came from the state of Alaska, but remained unchanged in other U.S. states excluding Hawaii.
This marked the 12th time crude oil production in the U.S. showed a decrease over the past 54 weeks.
Since the week ending Nov. 9, 2018, crude oil production in the country has marked historic highs of 11.7 million bpd, and climbed to a new record high of 11.9 million bpd for the week ending Jan. 11, according to the EIA data.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 12.1 million bpd in 2019 and 12.9 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for January.
By Ovunc Kutlu