Washington, DC, United States (4E) – U.S. crude oil stockpiles were lower in the week ended Dec. 27, according to official data released Friday.
Crude oil supplies dropped 7 million barrels to 360.6 million barrels, compared with analysts’ average estimate that called for stocks to fall by 2.2 million barrels on the week. Crude oil inventories are at their lowest level since Sept. 20.
Crude oil stockpiles in the week before decreased by 4.70 million barrels to 367.60 million barrels. Analysts in a survey by The Wall Street Journal predicted an increase of 1.2 million barrels.
Gasoline inventories climbed by 800,000 barrels to 220.7 million barrels, reaching their highest level since Aug. 9, according to the weekly report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Distillate stocks, which consist of diesel fuel and heating oil, jumped by 5 million barrels to 119.1 million barrels. Meanwhile, refining capacity utilization slowed by 0.3 points to 92.4 percent of capacity.
In the week ended Dec. 27, U.S. crude oil imports averaged 7.50 million barrels a day, lower by 40,000 barrels a day from the previous week, according to the report. Over the past four weeks, imports averaged at 7.40 million barrels a day, lower by 7.50 percent in the same four-week period a year ago.