Crude oil stocks in the U.S. increased last week, while crude production remained at a record high level, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.
Commercial crude oil stocks increased by 1.3 million barrels, or 0.3 percent, to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending Feb. 1, the EIA said. The market expectation was an increase of 2.2 million barrels. Stocks rose by 0.9 million 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 0.5 million barrels, or 0.2 percent, to 257.9 million barrels during that period, less than the market expectation of an increase of 1.6 million barrels. During the previous week, gasoline inventories saw a decline of 2.2 million barrels.
- Crude production rises slightly
The U.S.' crude oil production increased slightly by 9,000 barrels per day (bpd) to remain at record high level of around 11.9 million bpd (mbpd) for the week ending Feb.1 , the EIA data showed.
Last week, the 9,000 bpd increase in crude production came from the state of Alaska, but remained unchanged in other U.S. states excluding Hawaii.
This marked the 43rd time crude oil production in the U.S. showed an increase over the past 56 weeks.
Since the week ending Nov. 9, 2018, crude oil production in the country has marked historic highs of 11.7 mbpd, and climbed to a new record high of 11.9 mbpd for the week ending Jan. 11, according to the EIA data.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 12.1 mbpd in 2019 and 12.9 mbpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for January.
By Ovunc Kutlu