Crude oil inventories in the U.S. decreased last week, while crude oil production rose slightly to hit record high levels, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks decreased by 1.7 million barrels, or 0.4 percent, to 439.7 million barrels for the week ending Jan. 4, the EIA data showed. The market expectation for crude stocks was a decline of 2.4 million barrels. Stocks rose by 7,000 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 8.1 million barrels, or 3.4 percent, to 248.1 million barrels during that period, compared to the market expectation of an increase of 3.4 million barrels. During the previous week, gasoline inventories saw an increase of 6.9 million barrels.
-Crude production rises
The U.S.' crude oil production increased slightly by 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) and reached around 11.7 million bpd for the week ending Jan.4, according to the EIA.
Since the week ending Nov. 9, 2018, crude oil production in the country has marked historic highs of 11.7 million bpd.
Last week, the 10,000 bpd rise in crude production came from the state of Alaska, but remained unchanged in other U.S. states excluding Hawaii.
This marked the 41st time crude oil production in the U.S. showed an increase over the past 52 weeks.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 12.1 million bpd in 2019, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for December.
By Ovunc Kutlu