Crude oil inventories in the U.S. decreased last week, but crude oil production climbed back to the record high level, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Friday.
Commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 5.5 million barrels, or 1.2%, to 441.4 million barrels for the week ending Dec. 20, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was a decline of 1.7 million barrels. Inventories fell by 1.1 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 showed an increase of 2 million barrels, or 0.8%, to 239.3 million barrels during that period, more than the market expectation of an increase of 1.6 million barrels. The previous week saw gasoline inventories increase by 2.5 million barrels.
- Crude output back to record high
The U.S.' crude oil imports rose by 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) to reach 6.81 million bpd for the week ending Dec. 20, but crude oil exports saw a decline of 236,000 bpd to 3.4 million bpd, according to the EIA data.
Crude oil production in the U.S. increased by 100,000 bpd to reach 12.9 million bpd for the week ending Dec. 20, the EIA data showed. While there was no change in the output of the state of Alaska, oil production from other U.S. states, excluding Hawaii, increased by 100,000 bpd.
With that result, the U.S.' crude oil production climbed back to the record high level of 12.9 million bpd that was first reached during the week ending Nov. 29.
Crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to average 13.2 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report for December.
By Ovunc Kutlu