US commercial crude oil stocks increased last week against the market expectation of a decline, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil inventories in the US rose by 4.9 million barrels, or 0.9%, to 536.6 million barrels for the week ending July 17, the data showed. The market expectation was a decline of 2.1 million barrels. Inventories decreased by 7.5 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 656.1 million barrels for the week ending July 17, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.8 million barrels, or 0.7%, to 246.7 million barrels over that period. The market expectation was a decline of 1.4 million barrels. The previous week saw gasoline stocks decline by 3.1 million barrels.
- Crude production rises
US crude oil imports increased by 373,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 5.94 million bpd for the week ending July 17, while crude oil exports rose by 450,000 bpd to 2.99 million bpd, according to the EIA data.
The data showed that US crude oil production increased by 104,000 bpd to approximately 11.1 million bpd for the week ending July 17. Crude oil output reached an all-time high of 13.1 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 28.
Crude production is expected to average 11.6 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report for July.
The US surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia, in November 2018 to become the world's biggest crude oil producer.
By Ovunc Kutlu