NEW YORK: US crude oil stockpiles fell for the eighth straight week last week, as renewed vigour in the US economy continues to drive higher fuel demand, the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.
The report was delayed for one hour due to technical issues, the EIA said.
Crude inventories fell by 7.9 million barrels in the week to July 9, far more than analysts’ expectations for a decrease of 4.4 million barrels.
Refiners have been drawing down crude inventories in the longest streak since January 2018, in response to heavier demand, while US production has been relatively stagnant.
Net US crude imports fell last week by 1.1 million barrels per day as exports alone jumped to over 4 million bpd.
Crude production rose to 11.4 million bpd last week to its highest since May 2020, but that figure is considered volatile and less reliable than monthly data.
Refinery crude runs fell by 22,000 bpd and refinery utilization rates fell by 0.4 percentage point.
Fuel stocks rose last week even as refinery runs eased back a bit. Gasoline stocks rose by 1 million barrels, compared with expectations for a 1.8 million-barrel drop.
Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, rose by 3.7 million barrels, versus expectations for a 877,000 barrel-increase. Overall product supplied, a measure of demand, was 20.6 million bpd over the last four weeks, roughly in line with figures from two years ago, prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Weekly figures showed a sharp decline, however.