The US' commercial crude oil stocks last week posted its first decline since January, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil inventories in the US decreased by 700,000 barrels, or 0.1%, to 531.5 million barrels for the week ending May 8, the data showed. The market expectation was a rise of 4.1 million barrels. Inventories rose by 4.6 million barrels during the previous week.
After 15 consecutive weeks of increases, this downturn marked the first weekly fall in commercial stocks since they last recorded a decline for the week ending Jan. 17, according to the EIA's data.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, increased by 1.9 million barrels, or 0.3%, to 639.8 million barrels for the week ending May 8, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, showed a fall of 3.5 million barrels, or 1.4%, to 252.9 million barrels over that period, higher than the market expectation of a decline of 2.2 million barrels. Gasoline stocks fell by 3.1 million barrels during the previous week.
- Crude oil production down
The US' crude oil imports decreased by 321,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.4 million bpd for the week ending May 8, while crude oil exports saw a decline of 21,000 bpd to 3.5 million bpd, according to the EIA data.
The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 305,000 bpd to approximately 11.6 million bpd for the week ending May 8. The US' crude oil output reached an all-time high of 13.1 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 28.
Crude oil production is expected to average 11.7 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report for May.
The country surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia, in November 2018 to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Ovunc Kutlu