The U.S.' crude oil stocks reached the highest level since December 2017 with commercial inventories surpassing expectations, according to data released by the country's Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks in the U.S. increased by 4.9 million barrels, or 1.1 percent, to 446.9 million barrels for the week ending Nov. 16, the EIA data showed.
This marked the highest level for the U.S.' commercial crude oil stocks since the week ending Dec. 1, 2017, when stocks reached 448.1 million barrels, according to the EIA data.
The crude stock market expectation was an increase of 2.5 million barrels, while they boosted by 10.3 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude oil stocks, fell by 0.8 million barrels, or 0.1 percent, to 652.6 million barrels for the week ending Nov. 16.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 1.3 million barrels, or 0.6 percent, to 225.3 million barrels during the same period. The market expected a decline of 0.2 million barrels for gasoline stocks. They fell by 1.4 million barrels during the previous week.
- Oil output steady
Crude oil production in the U.S. remained almost unchanged at 11.7 million barrels per day (bpd) for the week ending Nov. 16, according to the EIA data.
While crude output rose by 4,000 bpd in the state of Alaska, it remained steady in other American states.
This also marked the 37th time crude oil production increased in the past 45 weeks and kept the U.S.' crude output at a record high level ranking the country as the world's biggest crude producer.
The U.S.' crude oil production is estimated to average 10.9 million bpd this year, and 12.1 million bpd next year, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook report in November.
The U.S. output is increasing at a time when Russian and Saudi Arabian productions are also at a historical high. The increasing global oil production pushes prices low as U.S. President Trump pushes his agenda of low oil prices for a national economic recovery and potential high growth rates fueled by low energy costs.
By Ovunc Kutlu