The US’ commercial crude oil stocks decreased last week against the market expectation of an increase, according to data released by the country’s Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday.

Commercial crude oil inventories in the US fell by 2.1 million barrels, or 0.4%, to 532.3 million barrels for the week ending May 29, the data showed. The market expectation was an increase of 3 million barrels. Inventories rose by 7.9 million barrels during the previous week.

Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, increased by 4 million barrels, or 0.6%, to 647.8 million barrels for the week ending May 29, the data revealed.

Gasoline inventories also rose by 2.8 million barrels, or 1.1%, to 257.8 million barrels over that period, much higher than the market expectation of an increase of 1 million barrels. The previous week saw gasoline stocks decline by 0.7 million barrels.

Crude oil production down

The US’ crude oil imports fell by approximately 1 million barrels per day (bpd) to 6.18 million bpd for the week ending May 29, while crude oil exports declined by 382,000 bpd to 2.79 million bpd, according to the EIA data.

The data showed that US crude oil production decreased by 232,000 bpd to approximately 11.2 million bpd for the week ending May 29. The US’ crude oil output reached an all-time high of 13.1 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 28.

Crude oil production is expected to average 11.7 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook report for May.

The country surpassed Saudi Arabia, and then Russia, in November 2018 to become the world’s biggest crude oil producer.

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