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

Commercial crude oil inventories in the US rose by 5.7 million barrels, or 1.1%, to 539.2 million barrels for the week ending July 3, the data showed. The market expectation, however, was a decrease of 3.1 million barrels. Inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels during the previous week.

Strategic petroleum reserves, which are not included in the commercial crude stocks, increased by 0.6 million barrels, or 0.1%, to 656 million barrels for the week ending July 3, the data revealed.

Gasoline inventories, on the other hand, decreased by 4.8 million barrels, or 1.9%, to 251.7 million barrels over that period. The market expectation was a decline of 2,000 barrels. The previous week saw gasoline stocks increase by 1.2 million barrels.

– Crude production rises slightly

US crude oil imports rose by 1.42 million barrels per day (bpd) to 7.39 million bpd for the week ending July 3, while crude oil exports decreased by 705,000 bpd to 2.38 million bpd, according to the EIA data.

The data showed that US crude oil production slightly increased by 36,000 bpd to approximately 11 million bpd for the week ending July 3. Crude oil output reached an all-time high of 13.1 million bpd for the week ending Feb. 28.

Crude production is expected to average 11.6 million bpd in 2020, according to the EIA’s Short-Term Energy Outlook report for July.

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

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