Commercial crude oil reserves in the United States fell significantly last week, surprising analysts who expected a further rise, according to figures released Wednesday by the US Energy Information Agency (EIA).
During the week ended Nov. 12, crude inventories fell 2.1 million barrels to 433 million barrels, as analysts forecast an increase of 1.2 million barrels over the period.
A good sign for demand in the United States, gasoline reserves have also declined, to the extent of analysts’ expectations falling by 700,000 barrels. Distillates such as diesel also show inventories down by 800,000 barrels, slightly less than forecasts which called for a reduction of one million.
Crude prices, already down at the opening fearing a levy by the Biden Administration on strategic crude reserves to fight rising prices, hovered around these levels after the release of the data. A barrel of West Texas Intermediate (WTI), a benchmark variety in the United States, dropped 1.37% to $ 79.65 at 4:00 p.m. compared to the previous day’s close. A barrel of North Sea Brent dropped 0.85% to 81.73 dollars.
Strategic crude oil reserves have declined by 3.2 million barrels, much like the week before as the market roars with rumors of a bigger government grab to lower prices at the pump.
The level of these emergency reserves now stands at 606.1 million barrels. The withdrawal observed this week corresponds to sales already made during the previous weeks and reflects its transport to the refineries. US production remained almost the same at 11.4 million barrels per day (mb / d), falling just 100,000 b / d. The level of refinery utilization accelerated to 87.9% but remains below normal.
Total consumption of petroleum products jumped 2.3 million barrels per day, reflecting the drawdown on inventories, to stand at 21.6 mb / d. Imports remained stable at 6.1 mb / d while exports increased by 573,000 barrels to 3.6 mb / d.