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 7 million barrels, or 1.6 percent, to 456.6 million barrels for the week ending April 5, the EIA said. The market expectation was an increase of 2.3 million barrels. Stocks rose by 7.2 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, on the other hand, decreased by 7.7 million barrels, or 3.3 percent, to 229.1 million barrels during that period. The market expectation was a decline of 2 million barrels. During the previous week, gasoline inventories fell by 1.8 million barrels.
- Crude production remains at record high
The U.S.' crude oil production increased slightly by 2,000 barrels per day (bpd) to record high levels of around 12.2 million bpd (mbpd) for the week ending April 5 , the EIA data showed.
Last week, the 2,000 bpd increase in crude production came from the state of Alaska, but remained unchanged in other U.S. states excluding Hawaii.
This marked the 49th time crude oil production in the U.S. showed an increase over the past 64 weeks.
Since the week ending Nov. 9, 2018, crude oil production in the country has marked historic highs of 11.7 mbpd and reached 12.2 mbpd for the week ending March 29, according to the EIA data.
The U.S.' crude oil production is expected to average 12.4 mbpd in 2019 and 13.1 mbpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for April.
By Ovunc Kutlu