The U.S.' crude oil inventories showed strong increase last week, much higher than market expectation, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil inventories rose by 13.8 million barrels, or 3%, to 469.2 million barrels for the week ending March 27, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was an increase of 4 million barrels. Inventories rose by 1.6 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 635 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories also showed an increase of 7.5 million barrels, or 3.1%, to 246.8 million barrels over that period. While the market expectation was an increase of 1.95 million barrels for gasoline stocks, they declined by 1.5 million barrels during the previous week.
- Crude oil production down
The U.S.' crude oil imports decreased by 70,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 6.05 million bpd for the week ending March 27, while crude oil exports saw a decline of 695,000 bpd to 3.15 million bpd, according to the EIA data.
Crude oil production in the U.S. increased slightly by 16,000 bpd to remain almost unchanged at 13 million bpd for the week ending March 27, the EIA data showed. The U.S.' crude oil output reached an all-time high of 13.1 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 28.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 13 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report for March.
The country surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia, in November 2018 to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Ovunc Kutlu