U.S.' crude oil stocks showed increases last week, despite market expectations of a decline, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) data released on Wednesday.
Even though the market expectation for commercial crude oil stock was a decline of 2.8 million barrels, inventories raised by 3.8 million barrels, or 0.9 percent, to 408.7 million barrels for the week ending July 27, the EIA data showed.
Commercial crude stocks fell by 6.1 million barrels the previous week.
Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial stocks, remained unchanged at 660 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories decreased by 2.5 million barrels, or 1.1 percent, to 231 million barrels for the week ending July 27.
In the week prior, the expectation for gasoline inventories was a decline of 1.3 million barrels but they fell by 2.3 million barrels.
- Crude output falls third time in 29 weeks
The U.S.' crude oil imports fell by 21,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 7.75 million bpd for the week ending July 27, while exports decreased by 1.37 million bpd to 1.31 million bpd.
U.S. crude oil production saw a decline of 68,000 bpd to 10.9 million bpd in that period. This marked the third weekly fall in crude production over the last 29 weeks in the country.
While all output declines came from the state of Alaska last week, crude production in other U.S. states remained unchanged.
Crude oil production in the U.S. is expected to average 10.8 million bpd this year and 11.8 million bpd next year, according to the EIA's Short-Term Energy Outlook (STEO) report for July.
By Ovunc Kutlu in New York