US oil inventories decline as refinery activity hits 4-year high

    WORLD  07 June 2023 - 20:36

    US inventories of crude oil declined last week as refinery activity sped up to its strongest level since 2019, according to data released on June 7 by the Energy Information Administration.

    Benchmark US oil prices that were higher before the report was released remained higher afterward. The Nymex front-month crude contract for July delivery was recently up 1.6 per cent at $72.89 a barrel, Market Watch reports.

    Commercial crude-oil stockpiles fell by 452,000 barrels last week to 459.2 million barrels, and are now 2 per cent below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had predicted crude stockpiles would rise by 1.1 million barrels from the prior week.

    The drop came despite a 1.9-million-barrel transfer of crude oil last week from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the commercial side, in transactions being conducted by the Department of Energy each week over the past couple of months.

    Oil stored at Cushing, Okla., the delivery point for US stocks, increased by 1.7 million barrels from the previous week to 40.6 million barrels, the EIA said in its weekly report.

    US crude-oil production jumped by 200,000 barrels a day last week, to 12.4 million barrels a day, the highest since March 27, 2020, according to the EIA.

    Gasoline stockpiles rose by 2.7 million barrels to 218.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations of just a 200,000-barrel increase.

    Distillate stocks, which are mostly diesel fuel, jumped by 5.1 million barrels to 111.7 million barrels, and are now about 16 per cent below the five-year average, the EIA said. Analysts had forecast distillates inventories would rise by a smaller, 1 million barrels last week.

    The refining capacity utilization rate soared by 2.7 percentage points from the previous week to 95.8 per cent. That was the highest rate since Aug. 16, 2019, and compared with expectations for just a 0.5-percentage-point increase.

    US oil inventories for the week ended June 2: Crude Gasoline Distillates Refinery Use EIA data: -0.5 +2.7 +5.1 +2.7 Forecast: +1.1 +0.2 +1.0 +0.5

    Note: Numbers in millions of barrels, with the exception of refinery use, which is in percentage points.

    Caliber.Az

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