US commercial crude oil inventories decreased by 0.2% during the week ending July 14, according to data released by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) late Wednesday.
Inventories fell by around 700,000 barrels to 457.4 million barrels, less than the American Petroleum Institute's expectation of a fall of 2.25 million barrels.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are excluded from commercial crude stocks, remained unchanged at 346.8 million barrels last week, the data revealed.
Gasoline inventories, however, declined by 1.1 million to 218.4 million barrels over the same period.
- Crude production falls
EIA data showed that US crude oil imports increased by about 1.29 million barrels per day (bpd) to around 7.17 million bpd during the week ending July 14, while crude oil exports also rose by around 1.67 million bpd to about 3.81 million bpd.
US crude oil production, meanwhile, declined by 11,000 bpd and stood at 12.7 million bpd over the same period.
In the Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) released on July 12, the EIA predicted crude oil output in the country would reach an average of 12.56 million bpd this year.
Next year, crude oil output in the country is expected to reach 12.85 million bpd.
By Sibel Morrow