Crude oil inventories decreased slightly in the U.S. last week, but production remained at record high level, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Thursday.
Commercial crude oil stocks decreased by 300,000 barrels, or 0.1%, to 476.5 million barrels for the week ending May 24, the EIA data showed. The market expectation was a decline of 860,000 barrels. Crude oil inventories rose by 4.7 million barrels during the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 644.8 million barrels during that period, according to the data.
Gasoline inventories increased by 2.2 million barrels, or 1%, to 230.9 million barrels during the period, against the market consensus of a decline of 530,000 barrels. During the previous week, gasoline inventories saw a increase of 3.7 million barrels.
- Crude production at record level
The U.S.' crude oil production increased by 97,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the record high level of 12.3 million bpd (mbpd) for the week ending May 24, the EIA data showed.
This level of crude production was last seen in the U.S. during the week ending April 26, according to EIA data.
Last week, a 3,000 bpd decline in crude production was seen in the state of Alaska, while other U.S. states, excluding Hawaii, posted an output increase of 100,000 bpd.
Crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to average 12.45 mbpd in 2019 and 13.4 mbpd in 2020, according to the EIA's Short Term Energy Outlook report for May.
By Ovunc Kutlu